We hit the 2 month mark living on our farm. Spring has come and it’s planting season. I haven’t really got to the hard part yet, and I’m already feeling it.
I read this post from The Easy Homestead; and found myself relating to several of the authors sentiments. She talks about the hard days. I’m pretty sure I’m not even to the hard part yet! I hope I’m as tough as I think I am.
I have callouses on my hands. I scrub the dirt from under my fingernails before I cook. I have plants in the greenhouse that need tilled ground, and I’m not as strong as I want to be. I dig and pull roots until my spine burns. Just today, I spent 3 hours tilling a spot for my peas, only to realize they will have to be planted under the trellis instead, to climb.
Stupid, ugly peas.
I have 33 chickens that Google is helping me raise. One has a broken leg, and I had to wipe my daughters tears and tell her we will do all we can to make sure it lives. The other day, the feed store was closed so I stalked a mill truck and begged for a heat lamp when I had one break. I mean, I begged. That’s not something I’m inclined to do. But lives were at stake. Or at least, future dinners.
I can see my family as a sitcom. The clueless mom who knows nothing about running a farm; but buys a farm nonetheless. City raised daughter, who keeps naming the dang groceries. (I mean chickens.) And always loving husband, who goes along with his wife’s craziness; and is actually the only one adept enough to live there. Hilarity ensues.
Farmers coined the saying, “you can break a man’s back, but you can’t break his spirit.” They say that because it breaks your back, y’all. And even though I’m so busy I’m dizzy, I am smiling. Here’s why.
20 Reasons Why I Love Living On A Farm
1. My daughter is safer here.
We bought our first house when I got pregnant with Bella, but the neighborhood declined. There were home invasions, gang and drug type stuff, and creepers. Maybe I’m just a wuss because I grew up in a quiet sleepy little town.
Here there’s one way in and one way out, and it takes a lot of fuel to get here. You need lots of gas money and really good tires to come visit me. I just don’t see bad guys going to all that trouble…ha!
2. We aren’t that into TV.
This is primarily because I do not have cable. Or turn the TVs on. I dont even know how to get local channels, because I had digital cable as long as I can remember. Our expensive Internet provider (who we shall refer to as HickNet) is very stingy with gigs and we can’t watch a glitch free movie if we tried. We ration our internet for the important things, like what to do if your chicken breaks it’s leg.
3. The stars are bright.
You can see them all, millions of them. It’s real easy to pick out the constellations. I missed stars.
4. Someday, I might never have to shop at Wal-mart again.
You know, once I have chickens, beef, milk, veggies & fruit. I can get a lot of things here in town. I have infinite hope.
5. Building character.
I’ve noticed that my generation does not understand what earning means. It means you deserve compensation because you performed a service that is worthy. That’s a little different than just showing up.
Work builds character. These kids are learning to drive a tractor just as fast as their foot can reach the pedal. We get to put tools in their hands, literally and figuratively. Right now they play at it, and quit when they get bored. But the minute one of them steps up, I’ll get to put a paycheck in those hands. I could probably employ an army of middle school and high school kids each summer. Giving kids and opportunity to earn gives them self reliance and self worth.
6. I can have any dang animals I want.
Legally, I can have just about anything. I could probably get away with having a tiger, unless the law found out. As long as the tiger didn’t eat someone, nobody would know. I don’t really need a tiger. But I’m not opposed to peacocks.
7. I have a cowbell.
Seriously, I wanted one my whole life.
8. I could walk around naked.
I would never in my life feel the need to walk around naked. Trust me. But you know, it’s sort of nice having privacy. I was able to smell what the neighbors cooked for breakfast in the city.
*In case you’re a creeper with lots of gas money, please note that you will be highly disappointed if you were hoping to catch a glimpse of a naked fat gurl. Also, see below.
9. I have my own gun range.
Hubby and I are excellent marksmen, and so are the children in my life who are mature enough to safely train. (Not playing, creeper.)
All joking aside, guns have a different use on a farm way out in the boonies. This is a different world than the one we left. I don’t feel the need to carry a weapon, except maybe at dark if I were way in the back of the property. You know, in case I surprise a coyote. A weapon is mostly for guarding the farm animals against predator animals. I am trained to defend my life against a target attacking me, I’m no hunter. So I’m thinking about trading a couple handguns in for a rifle.
10. I can build a mudslide.
Or anything else we want. Like quad ramps or a whole playground. Limitless options.
11. It’s beautiful.
Everyday in spring, something new is blossoming. This property was a homestead before Oklahoma was a state. Most of the original structures are gone, but there are generations of plants and bushes and flowers to see. It seems like each day I wake up this month, I see a new splash of color!
12. Who needs to work out anymore?
Not that I ever worked out. But if I were in the habit of working out, I’d definitely stop now. I have aching muscles that I didn’t know existed in the human body.
13. The nature.
I very rarely walk to the back of my property without seeing wildlife. I’ve seen deer and wild turkey, but I hear there are lots more critters around here. Mostly the carnivore sort.
And birds! I feed them, because this place came equipped with a bajillion bird feeders. I have cardinals and bluejays, those are the only 2 species I recognize so far. But I’m going to save up some gigs to look it up.
14. The quiet.
My daughter was actually scared of the quiet at first. I remember feeling that way when I went to college in a big city, after growing up in a little town. Laying awake at night hearing cars, sirens, people…
It took a little getting used to for her. I sat down with her one day after she had been having trouble sleeping. I told her there’s actually a quite lot of noise if you pay attention. The birds, crickets, trees rustling, and distant farm animals. I told her when I was her age I could tell if there was bad weather coming just by listening. She hasn’t had any trouble since.
15. The people.
Remember in the beginning of this post when I told you I begged a mill truck driver to help me find a heat lamp for my chicken flock? The nearest farm supply outside of my town is 2 hours round trip. I guess in a small community, if you don’t have a heat lamp to sell, you call a buddy who can loan one to a strange beggar woman with a truckload of muddy kids.
See, I thought one of the reasons I wanted to move away from the city was to be more self sufficient. Live off the land, all that. But in a way, people rely on each other more in the country. It’s not a bad thing though. That’s how you make friends! Help me out with a heat lamp, I’ll give you some of nicely cultivated, ready to put in the ground (God forsaken) pea plants. We’re all ready to lend a hand to anyone in need, because we never know when we might be in a tough spot.
16. We are NEVER bored.
At least, I’m never bored. The kids have learned real quick not to get bored. There’s plenty of work to do, so if you can’t entertain yourself I will make you use of your abundant time.
Hubby and I go on dates on our own property. That might sound corny, but there is nothing more romantic than sipping a
bottle glass of wine, sitting on the tailgate and watching the sun go down.
Yes, I know that sounds like a country song. Where do you think we got the idea?!
18. Food tastes better.
This summer we will get to eat our own produce. That’s not new; I grew a little and canned a lot when we lived in the city. There’s no doubt that I’m ruined for store bought tomatoes and fruit. It’s more than that, though.
I think it’s because you bust your butt all day, and you’re just so happy to sit down. Also, you’re STARVING, because you spent 6 hours tilling peas instead of 3. My theory is that one feels they have earned their meal, and that tastes amazing.
19. I feel closer to God here.
I love designer bags, clothing, fancy furniture I can’t afford, basically I covet nice things. Being away from the city slows me down and makes me realize what’s important. I’m materialistic, I admit it. But living here helps. I’m also more conscience of my time, which makes me feel like a better person in general. I am more present for my family. I get it now, what “You are the salt and the light” means. I’m learning to slow down, and just live.
20. My kid thinks I’m awesome.
Bella loves her school. (Remember, the old one was pretty rough!) Her first week, she noticed some things that warmed my heart. She said kids don’t care if you wear Jordans. She went on about how the kids aren’t teased and shunned. I also know that peer pressure and bullying happen everywhere, but that’s how she feels in this moment. And in a class with 13 kids, she gets all the extra math help she needs.
I can’t believe it took me this long to give my daughter what I never appreciated growing up. You grow up and move away, only to miss the very things you took for granted. Except my daughter has lived both worlds so she understands more than I did. Not that city living is bad. But city living in a not so nice area wasn’t great.
Bella went from not being allowed to play in the front yard to 16 acres of freedom. Of course, I still get a little nervous when I can’t see her. But hey, I have the cowbell!