"We also did a lot of roguing, my sister and I. And we have a few other people that help. For those of you that don't know roguing is, [it's] when you walk the fields and chop the weeds that have gotten away. And we would get up about 4:00 and drive over so that you could be here in the cool. And we'd be done at 1:00 [p.m.] and we'd head back home. The freedom that gives you is just, you know, you're 16 and you want to do everything everybody else is doing in the evenings, but you've got to make the money in the day. So there's a freedom. I just, I liked being outside. I liked the fact that if you were really tired and dad didn't know where you were you could kind of lay down and just take a rest. And no one knew where you were and no one bothered you."
     [Question:] "And if you're in your teen years and you're out rouguing at 4:00 a.m. in the morning and you're up at night until … "
     "You're tired a lot. [Laughs.] … That was probably the worst. That was probably the worst job. It would get so hot and start first thing in the morning, you'd be wet and sometimes the beans were chest high and you would be soaked. Very seldom do you rogue corn but it was mainly beans. And my father drilled beans so we didn't have rows to walk in. They were a solid stand seven inches apart and you're soaked. And then as, as you dry, you itch and then it gets just blistering hot."
     [Qestion:] "And you liked this!"
     "Yeah, it was, yeah, I did. I did. I did not realize how much I liked it until I took a break and worked for a psychologist for a while. [I] worked in an office, did secretarial work. And then realized, 'No, I've really done wrong here. I really like the farm.'"

Heather Derr – "Roughing" Weeds


Other Excerpts from Heather Derr’s Interview:

Their "Moderate Size" Farm
Government Subsidies
Women on the Farm
Choosing to Farm
Raising Kids for Export
Drugs in Rural America
The Miracle of Growing Plants
Farmers are Conservationists
Using GPS Tools
Her First Tractor
Computers on the Farm