When we moved to our farm several years ago with a toddler and newborn in tow, we mainly had it in mind to experience a bit of the country life: to plant a large garden and perhaps raise a few chickens. We didn’t expect much else to change. But the land has had its own effect on us.
The chickens and gardens are here, to be sure. But so are sheep, goats, pigs and honeybees. We also find ourselves baling hay, pitching manure, splitting wood, and repairing fences. Always repairing fences. At some point our hobby farm became a working farm, and nearly every aspect of our lives now revolves around this labor we undertake together, as a family.
The work is real. It’s dirty, smelly, sweaty, and tremendously physical. Cutting, splitting, stacking firewood. Weeding, mulching, harvesting from the garden. Hauling water and cleaning stalls. There are easier ways to acquire food. Cleaner ways. Cheaper ways. But that’s not why we do it.
A friend once quipped that growing tomatoes is “the…