Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Needs and wants and.. why are we doing this?

Someone posted this article in Grit Magazine the other day. Every once in a while we have a "why are we doing this again?" moment. Sometimes it's hard to put into words why this makes sense....and cents... to regular people. Mostly folks just look at you like you are out of your mind and wonder why we are doing this farming thing.

Barnyard brawl in ... three.. two... one...

But then we go to the grocery store and see the sky high food prices or hear of someone else who worked their entire life, retired at the appointed time....and promptly became disabled - or worse, flopped over dead before they could "enjoy" their life. Sometimes I feel like we are cheating the system because we are (mostly) happy now. Is everything perfect? Nope. But we kinda feel like we are doing what we want and not what someone is telling us to do.

Every time I think that maybe I should just get a "real" job I think of that 100 mile round trip commute I'd have to make everyday and it just seems ridiculous. The article's author does the math here and it's pretty much what I keep coming up with also. Plus I keep thinking about what he says here, " You can live free with less, or you can sell your soul to your “conveniences.” "

Sometimes I get weird comments from people. I think maybe they have an idealistic view of what our life is like... even tho you know I'll only tell you the truth about farming.  Frankly I wish I had that idealistic life that people imagine. I wish I could leisurely get up in the morning, go out to singing birds and sunshine everyday, see adorable goats and cute chicks all happily enjoying life in the Peaceable Kingdom... But that's not what it's really like.

I've been up since 4:30 in the AM. It's currently 6* and when I head out for chores it will be like trying to control a kindergarten full of flying monkeys. That tom turkey took a swing at me yesterday, the geese tried to kill me, Zander tried to kill the geese, and the goats got out. The truth is, all of them goats will be lucky to make it thru what's left of this never ending winter because I'm mighty hungry for a burger and all them ridiculous goats are on my last good nerve.

We live toward the lean side so I'll be spending today making sure all of my time and resources are spent wisely, so not one second of my time and not one ounce of flour or feed or food is wasted.

Maybe I'll dream about getting up late - you know like at 6 or 6:30am, putting on a clean shirt, having someone else fix me a plate of food, sitting inside in a cushy office all day, and planning my next trip to Maui. Sometimes that sounds pretty good too.

 My Chief of Staff, Little Mo. Decidedly cuter than any other assistant out there.

Whatever your definition of comfort or convenience is.... I can tell you one thing. The staff meetings around here are far more interesting. Failing your performance review... or "meeting expectations" of looking tender and delicious ... pretty much means you'll be the star of a special dinner in your honor.... if you know what I mean.

Here is a link to the book mentioned in the article, Creating the Low-Budget Homestead

Happy Tuesday everyone! Are you wondering what makes sense and what makes cents? Have you done the math?

Editors note: See that is an affiliate link. No, I have not read that book but it's now on my list. Check out that guy's magnificent beard!


Rachel from Harmonious Homestead said...

I constantly question myself, doubly so because homeschooling costs so very much in lost wages. But the trade off - feeling healthy and fulfilled - is something no one can calculate but feels mighty valuable to me.

Carolyn said...

Why? Hmmm.....two dead goat kids, one goat kid with gimpy legs, one, best milking doe with gored & now useless udder, traumatic pregnancy, and oh yes, now a goat with hypothermia.

This is definitely one of our "WHY do we do this" kind'a days.

But still wouldn't give it up. Just don't ask me again for a couple days :)

Vera said...

What a well written piece, OFG, which completely echoes how we think and feel about running a small farm. We are financially stretched at the moment because an inheritance came from my Mum after she died, but we are investing that money into the farm ready for the time when we are less financially well off. There is not other option than to keep going even on the worst of days,

David said...

I certainly struggle with this still being the a cubicle monkey, albeit the monkey-in-charge. I know you work yer tail off, but it sure makes sense to work your tail off directly for food and comfort than it is to work for money to buy food and comfort. I haven't figured out how to make the jump.

Ann from KY said...

I am having one of those bad homesteading days. My most favorite Nubian doe, is down and it looks really bad. I spent the money on a vet call and he isn't sure. We are following his plan, but it's not working. I am so sad. I can't tell you what a delight this doe was to milk. Milked easily, great teat size, good orifaces for the milk flow and a gentle and loving temperament. I will be surprised if she makes the night.
But, like others said, I wouldn't change it for anything. I just don't like living in town at all. A bad day living in the country beats any day in town!

Coco said...

Do you read Ben Hewitt´s blog? http://benhewitt.net/

I think you´d enjoy it.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Yep, Rachel, I hear you on that. And I'm glad you homeschool - the best investment for sure.

Carolyn, its been a tough tough season. I'm sorry for your losses. You'll get your feet under you, I just know it.

Thanks Vera - and also for your kind note. And yes, there is not another option. We all just keep on going.

Being the Monkey in Charge is pretty good, Dave.Someone said, 'jump and the net shall appear' - but what i found out was... the net was always there. hum.. that might be a deep thought.

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