Living on Farmer Time

I have always wondered why we need to adjust our clocks for daylight saving time here in the land of the Midnight Sun. It was originally adopted in Europe to extend the evening daylight hours during the summer months. Sure, it is necessary if we are to stay in sync with the rest of North America, however, it does not reflect our seasons very well.

Here in the North we talk about living on Yukon Time, implying freedom from clocks and deadlines, and a more relaxed way of living.

Our “rush hour” traffic isn’t anything compared to larger cities to the south. In the summer, our days don’t end at 6 p.m. because there is another five or six hours of daylight left to use.

I was told once that Yukoners hibernate in the winter and party all summer. I think we just seem to live life a bit closer to the seasons because their changes are so extreme. It’s how I like to live.

My son recently told me I live on farmer time. When I asked him to explain he said, “You don’t live according to the clock.”

After thinking about it for a bit I realized how true this was. All summer we work and live according to what day it is rather than by a certain timeline. Thursdays are about the only day we are conscious of the clock – and that is only until the Fireweed Market has started. If the sun is up there is always something to do, and the sun seems to be always up in the midsummer. So does it really matter if I get up at 6 a.m. or 8 a.m.?

Chances are I will still be doing something until the sun sets, or even later, if the situation demands it. This past June we had a boar staying on the farm who enjoyed breaking out of his pen at all hours of the night.

On one occasion Al and I had to fix his pen just after midnight. Thankfully there was still daylight to work by.

Our seeding and harvest times are determined not by a clock or calendar, but by how much sun and rain the garden has received. This year was the perfect example — with winter not losing it’s hold until well into May and the summer continuing well into October.

We seemed to have about the same length of summer, just not during the usual months. As the climate changes around us I wonder how much difference we will see between the seasons and the calendar in the years to come. But with the flexibility of living on farmer time, or even Yukon time, we should be able to move and change with the times.

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