I love when people ask about the farm. I love when their eyes light up at the idea of fresh food and no neighbors. At the end of our conversation, they always say “I hope to buy some land and have my own farm one day”. That’s awesome! You should do it! You will love it-25% of the time. You want a farm, but do you really want to be a farmer?
I spent my childhood following my papaw around milking cows and collecting eggs. I learned to pluck a chicken and then butcher it. I learned to raise a steer calf with so much love and then help bag his meat for the freezer. Springs were the best- mommas having babies! Cows, chickens, ducks and geese all had babies at their side. I watched the calender every day waiting for the circled date to come around because that’s when calf watch would start. It was amazing.
At home, we didn’t “farm” but we always had a garden and horses. I spent evenings, after school, down at the barn riding until dark. Show season was fast paced and life changing. The dirt and sweat and bruised behinds were all worth it come Championship time. After all- hard work pays off.
I always knew I wanted it all-the entire farm- ALL the animals. Lord bless my husband when he married me- he had fair warning. It took several years but we bought our dream farm and I started filling the pastures up with rescue animals. Animals that needed a second chance. Pappy-my Donkey was the first. The boys then got dairy calves from Santa with the hope that they will compete in local fairs with them. I know one day they will want to do beef cattle and even though I get attached- that fresh beef will be amazing- and we will eat it knowing that that animal was LOVED and PAMPERED and humanely used for the purpose that God intended. I am sure that will be a few years.
It all sounds pretty awesome, right? You are on board to be a farmer right? Well what about when your rescue goat that you dearly loved becomes suddenly sick and collapses and you spend all night sleeping with him just to make the decision to euthanize the next morning? Or when hawks are on a daily buffet of your baby chicks that you hand raised? Or when coyotes kill 7 of your prized Sebastopal geese and leave their bodies scattered. What about when you have to give injections to your sick calves or goats and you have both kids and no one to help? What about when the pasture floods and trees go down and you are tired but you strap a baby to your back and a toddler by your side and round up animals?
Do you still want to be a farmer?
What about when spring comes and you loose a momma cow or goat or sheep during birth and you spend all night finding colostrum or formula ?
Do you still want to be a farmer?
It is hard. It is so incredibly heart breaking. Today I sat with one of my chickens wrapped in a blanket as she seized and died…I have no idea what happened.
But when your donkey runs to meet you and shoves his big ole head into your shoulder for a hug-
When your goats play tag with you in the pasture because you are mom-
When your chickens run up to you and jump in your arms so they can sit on your shoulder-
When you take a horse that no one can mess with and teach her to love again –
THAT makes farming worth it. That 25%. That little slice of time without blood and tears. That solid week without calling your vet at 10pm……That makes you go from a regular person to a farmer.
So. Do you want to be a farmer?
Come learn with me.