Tuesday, March 12, 2013
The Musings of a Farmer
I had an awesome day yesterday. I was tied to the house all week last week due to things that NEEDED to be done. Laundry, dishes, cleaning, organizing, and the list could go on and on. This week has been a breath of fresh air. I've been wanting to get out of the house and I made it happen. We've had absolutely glorious weather here, I'm talking 80 degrees. My friends, it doesn't get much better. I know we need the rain in a bad way, but I'm not gonna complain if the good Lord decides to give us a sunny streak. No way.
With the completion of our chicken coop I took it upon myself to clean out the green house and get it prepared for our soon to be seedlings. While I was in the throws of scooping up the chicken poop encrusted wood chips and trying my best to NOT flick it into my hair (yeah right) I got to thinking. Side note- why is it that I always ponder life and it's possibilities while I'm scooping poop, mucking out the barn, or other related tasks? I don't know either. Moving on...
In my reflections I was thinking about how blessed I am to live the life that I do. I know there are people scattered all over this earth who live in terror for their lives, are starving, and are abused and helpless. I pray for these people daily and hope that one day I can help, but until then prayer after prayer is offered up. I am blessed and there's no two ways about it. I have a great marriage, healthy kids, and have been given the opportunity to return to the farm. I am so very thankful for this and my Lord is thanked daily. I know everyone doesn't want to farm, but I do think everyone needs to be aware and interested in what it takes to grow a garden and raise animals for food. In a very simple sense, we need a few things physically in order to survive. Shelter, clothing, and possibly the most important one is...yep, you guessed it...food.
In our society today we've really turned away from having the responsibility to grow our own food. Why would someone want to take the time to grow a garden when there is someone else who will do it for them? Many people have other things they'd rather be doing than this, and I can understand that. I have things that I LOVE to do and they have nothing to do with farming. I still need to eat however, and here is the point I am getting to. There are a lot of things happening right now that are jeopardizing the food we eat and buy. Hidden additives, GMO's, highly processed food that is addictive, severe restrictions on small farms, raids on independent dairy farmers, laws that are being passed and trying to be passed to make it nearly impossible to live simply and not face fines or jail time because of the choices we make to feed ourselves. Big Brother is always wanting his share of the profits and in turn he also wants to dictate our every move. If you have an independent spirit, this can feel suffocating. We are in the beginning stages of our farm and we also own our own business so needless to say, we know and feel what the powers-at-be are pushing down on small businesses/farms.
I am not saying that everyone should jump and become farmers. Nor am I saying that everyone should be content to turn the other way and not think about those who grow their food and the restrictions they face in doing so either. I think we need to make our money count, voices heard, and be concerned about the nutrition of the food we put into our bodies. The way I look at it, God provided plants and animals for food for us to eat and nourish our bodies with...SO we can do the things He has for us to do. If we eat garbage, we won't be able to do much and we will probably get sick sooner or later. Probably sooner...
Food is not the end all. One hundred years ago, we probably wouldn't even be having this discussion. Food was in it's natural form then and people cooked most if not ALL of the food that they ate. Not to mention that even if they weren't 'farmers' they still probably had a garden and maybe a chicken or two. It is no longer this way and if we are at all health conscious, then we must think about what we eat and it's affect on our bodies.
This is probably one of the main reasons why my husband and I want to farm. We want to know what we're eating, what's gone into what we're eating, and we want to teach our children how to care for animals, grow food, and care for themselves. There is a lot of confidence that is gained when you know that you can grow a garden and help deliver a lamb, when you can prepare food that will nourish your body and not just 'feed' it, and when you know that if times got tough, Lord willing, that you'd be ok. (Just to get this out there...I am NOT a prepper)
So what do you do if you don't want to farm? My best answer would be to support those that do (As much as your budget allows. I know a lot of people's are pretty tight right now. We are feelin' it too.) Go to the farmers market and buy a few things. Buy your meat in bulk from a local farmer. Long run, this is the best bang for your buck and it's better for you. When the opportunity presents itself, vote for the laws that will HELP farmers. Sign petitions that will help small farms succeed. And if you DO want to farm? I'd say start small, you don't have to live on acres in order grow your own food. You can plant a garden, get some chickens or meat rabbits, or you could lease some property and start a garden or small farm there if you want to do it on a larger scale but can't afford to move. There's always a way if you start small. Here's a great book if you want to know how much you can grow on a quarter of an acre. Or this one if you want to read up on animals too.
Farming may not be everyone's dream. Farming may not be what everyone wants to be doing. I guarantee though, that if you've eaten today, it probably came from one...