Everyone’s favorite question. For starters, I don’t really remember wanting to be anything else. Living off the land, tending to a barn full of animals, maybe going back in time 100 years…that was always The Dream.
As a kid I read all of the Little House on the Prairie books, the American Girl Doll – Kirsten series (she lived in the prairie in the 1800s), survival books like Hatchet, Julie’s Wolf Pack and My Side of the Mountain. That’s where it all started. Then my grandparents moved to a farm and had cows, donkeys, chickens, barn cats, and a goose or two. I was smitten. Then they moved to another farm where the kids next door lived on a dairy goat farm. I got my own goats, ponies, a duck and a chicken. Put a fork in me – I’m done. There is nothing else. I must be a farmer.
Farming is romantic to me. Something about a rooster crowing at 4 am is romantic. Walking outside early on a frosty morning and sticking your hands in your goat’s warm fur. Snuggling up next to a cow and milking them while everyone else is still asleep. Everything just slows down. Quiets down. Carving out a piece of the earth that is yours. You need it and it needs you. Watching the circle of life. Understanding and appreciating the ebb and flow of the seasons and the weather.
Having rough hands, sore shoulders, and aching feet. To me, THAT’S the measure of a successful day. Seeing your progress in feet of fencing, or rows of vegetables, or happy, healthy baby animals is so much more tangible than emailing yet another spread sheet that may or may not mean anything.
Yeah, it’s hard. My to – do list is never ending and half of the time I’m just putting out fires and not getting anything done. No, I may not make a lot of money. Yes, traveling and going away for the weekend is hard, if not nearly impossible. No, none of my friends understand it. No, no one may understand how I can care for an animal and then eat it. Yes, I have to get up early on the weekends. Yes, at some point there won’t be a difference between the weekend and a weekday because there are no days off. Yep, sometimes it will be really hot. Or really cold. Or really rainy. No, that won’t really change anything.
But I love it. I feel like it’s what I was meant to do.