Friday, February 19, 2010

This Isn't Charlotte's Web

Ever wondered why someone decides they want to farm? I did, once. Probably spent a whole minute pondering it....such a fleeting thought. And I'm pretty sure I had this romantic notion to what farming was all about - and my notions were not anywhere near close.

After all, this isn't Charlotte's Web.

There are no spiders squandering away their short little life to spare one annoying, fat, and super smelly pig.

No rat under the feed trough - oh no, not here. They much prefer living under the hen houses, in hopes of stealing an egg or worse, the unsuspecting, unguarded chick.

So why does someone choose to farm? I can tell you, it's not because they think it's glamorous, or because the odor clinging to them by the end of the day is super sexy - which it isn't. It's not because they like trucking out in three feet of snow to slop pigs, feed calves, grain cattle, or feed ungrateful, completely spoiled and impatient poultry.

Some would say "to raise their own food" but believe it or not, I've heard of people that "farm" and they wouldn't dream of eating one bite of what (or is that who?) they are raising.

We're farming out of necessity. I think if we didn't have to make a living from farming, I could enjoy it more than I do. Oh, sure, I love a newborn chick or duckling as much as the next person (in all honestly, I'm completely and hopelessly addicted to poultry of all types), and calves are cute and it's fun feeding them a bottle....well, the first time you feed a bottle, that is.

No one tells you how hard farming is. No one tells you that the critters you're busting butt to feed and care for don't give a crap if you fall face first in the snow while bringing them their breakfast. They only care that you're bringing breakfast. You're just the means of getting it to them.

Seriously. You're just their meal ticket. I think my cows would help themselves if they could.

And the pigs. O M G...don't get my started...I'm trying to remember who's idea it was anyway to get the pigs....I'll just blame The Man, because surely a woman wouldn't make such an idiotic decision on her own, right?! RIGHT?! RIGHT?!

There is nothing romantic about farming. There is nothing easy about farming.

We've learned through trial and error what works for us, what we like to work with, and what we wish we would have never tried our hand at (like goats...omg goats are insanely evil!)

It's not all bad, there are some wonderful things about farming. Like eating what you grew. Like collecting a fresh egg - and then putting it in the 'bator and having a chick in 21 days. Like watching your children see a newborn goat kid, or watching a chick hatch, or knowing exactly where your food is coming from.

Another plus to farming - it limits who comes to visit. LOL I think this is my absolute favorite aspect...because, you do know, those who are allergic to hard work stay as far away as possible. They're afraid they'll get roped into mucking a barn...or you might - heaven forbid - feed them something organic and unpasteurized....and hell will freeze over before they eat something that hasn't been adulterated in some way, shape, or form. You know the people I'm talking about - the ones who are so removed from their food sources that they don't realize that plastic wrapped chicken was once living and breathing.

No one ever tells you that when you take on farming, you will have many humiliating experiences. Things will happen that you never dreamed you'd see/experience/or hear told over and over again especially by your children! They are happy to tell your most embarrassing episodes to complete strangers in the grocery line. Believe me, your kids will tell!

No one tells you that animals - all of them - have minds of their own, and they will work against you, push your limits, and try to be the administrator of the farm. Periodic threats of turning them into dinner tends to help keep them in line. The hens know this threat all too well. Egg production miraculously picks up overnight.

Overall, though, I would say it's definitely worth it. Working your own land, raising your own food, and being fully responsible for your own survival. It does have it's rewards.

1 comment:

  1. Very Good I like it and all the things you said about farming are so true.