Filed work - more than your actual field work

The field work might be, or is for me, one of the funniest part of the work. Maybe with the exception when, after some repetitive tasks in the same place as the last six weeks, rainy days, and things that did not work out quiet as it should, you just want your data and analyse it. But isn't it so much more to it? There is also all the nice experiences and events happening in front of you, there, spending time in the field. Field work is usually more than your particular field work task.

Working on farms situated in different kinds of landscapes, there is a bit of driving to get all the field equipment in place which, on one hand, can be a daunting work sometimes. On the other hand a wonderful chance to get to see many parts of Skåne and have lots of time listening to radio and talking to field assistants. And farmers.
This particular year I am trying to manage 316 pots with flowering plants on 63 farms. It is a lot of digging, marking, watering and not to mention finding the fields marked on a map and searching for a good place to put the pots. But it is also lots of fun.
Positive bi-effects with going around like this include that you see a number of small farms and nice places you never would have done as an ordinary tourist. One particular thing that I find very enriching and learning is talking to all the farmers you meet while working with your field experiments. I have found them, often, very interested in what you do and almost always keen to share their opinion on various things.
I remember having discussed environmental support programs, annoying rules from European Union, why the rye did not work out this year, what the interesting carabid they found in the forest is, new methods in preparing the field and their own thoughts on why pollinators have become rarer in the landscape and what to do about it. You learn a lot, about farming and farmers situation, which is both interesting and improves your perspectives in your work.

Now, what the point with all the pots on all farms is I think I will save to another post.
See you out there!


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