No one starts a farm, or runs a farm to become rich. You don’t do it for the free time or the flexible schedule. Mostly people farm because they love it. Here is a list of things I love about farming, about my farm, and the life I am building here.
1.Bringing my dogs to work
I love my dogs. I have two, but that number can fluctuate depending on whether I also have either of my parent’s dogs. I love that they don’t have to stay home alone, so I don’t have to worry about them destroying anything when I’m gone. But really, I just love seeing them all day. I also love when others bring their dogs with them!
2. Feeding People
I do not have a strong need to feed myself or others. I eat to keep moving mostly. I am not a foodie and will never be one. This is great because I am easy to feed. But it has led to an unexpected joy in farming. The single best compliment someone can give me is “Your strawberries/tomatoes/watermelon/okra is the best I have ever had.” While farming I have learned the joy of introducing people to really good fruits and veggies. Since I am not a foodie, and care very minimally about the food I eat, I didn’t think I would find this so rewarding. But I do, I really really do. When parents come out and say, “my kids love your green bean or cucumbers, or squash” I know I have done something good. This form of feeding people is one I can totally get behind.
3. Getting to show people where food comes from
I grew up growing things. Not always useful things, but growing things nonetheless. So I have always known that fruit and veggies come from plants. Until I started farming, I had no idea that most people didn’t know this. One of my favorite things to do here on the farm is show people (kids in particular because they are so enthusiastic about everything) how seeds become plants and plants grow food. I think plants are some of the coolest things out there. What else harnesses sunlight to make such amazing things like strawberries and watermelon and okra!
4. Drive a tractor
This one is perhaps a little silly. But I love driving my tractor. I love it. I had never even sat on a tractor before I bought one.
5. Work outside
I love working outside. I have never had a desk job. The closest I ever got was driving a bus. Which I think we can all agree is not anything like having a desk job. So while I don’t know for a fact that I would hate having a desk job, I am pretty sure I would be miserable. I don’t sit still well.* I love being outside. I need to be outside for a portion of every day or I start to lose my mind.
6. I can grow what I want
I get to see all the cool varieties of fruit and veggies out there. Purple carrots, purple tomatoes, orange watermelon, red okra, white strawberries. There are so many beautiful and delicious fruits and veggies that you never see in stores. While there is some pressure to grow what sells, often what sells is what you can’t find in the stores. So it works out. I get to grow the best tasting produce you will ever have, and it is all beautiful and unique.
7. Something to learn everyday
This job is challenging. I love that. I have learned about small engines. I have learned about wells, and pumps. I have learned about soil, and wind. I am learning how to build, how to take what I see in my head and bring it into the real world. What I have learned through the farm is priceless. If the farm had to close today, all the lessons I take with me will have guaranteed it wasn’t a failure. Because so much of what I have learned applies to all of life. How to handle conflict well. How to take criticism without taking it personally, how to set a goal, how to break down the steps to that goal, how to work hard when you don’t want to, how to take a break and walk away from everything, how to worry but not be crippled by it.
8. I can take a siesta in the summer
Because I work for myself, I don’t have to work through the hot part of the summer because I make my own hours. I can take the afternoon off and not melt in the Texas heat. Most days, I take a nap during the hottest part of the day. This means that I can get up early, but am still able to socialize in the evening without being super tired**.
9. No commute
I hate sitting in traffic. It’s the worst. I love the fact that I don’t have to worry about eating before I leave. I can work for a few hours and come back when I’m hungry. If anything needs to be done, it’s my backyard. I don’t have to worry about making it in time or missing a delivery or something. So very convenient – just walk out the back door to get to the farm and just walk back to go home.
Until next time,
*I can sit and read for long periods of time, otherwise I’m not sitting and being still
** or sunburnt. You should see my literal farmer’s tan.