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Agrarian Harvest

Wholesome, Organic, Experience. Our small farm, food, and simple life.

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farm wife

Farm Wife Garden & Necessities

I have my own garden and growing space. I call it the farm wife’s garden. When a farmer and his wife both like to grow plants and have different ideas of when and how to plant and what to plant, you need your own spaces. Or at least that is true for us. The farmer has control of most of the farm and I get the yard and my own gardening space. In my garden, I get to design it the way I like (it’s my work of art, my masterpiece), plant what I want, but I also have to feed the family and be able to do all of our canning from my garden.

In my garden (the farm wife’s garden), I’ve been doing a no-till growing method and mulching a lot with wood chips and straw. Last year, the garden didn’t produce very well and the quack grass took over. Reluctantly, I decided I would need to till again this year. I spent a couple of days scooping poop out of the chicken house and hauling it to the garden. I spread a generous amount of chicken manure on it and then attempted to rototill with our small walk behind rototiller. It kept getting bound up on the grass. Before I could even make one pass the full length of the garden, the rototiller die! Apparently, the grass was too hard on it and broke a piece that drives the tines. So we reverted to the tractor and big rototiller. It wasn’t able to get through the root mass either so we hooked up the renovator to break through the grass roots and loosen it up. Then rototilled. We waited a week to let the grass roots that remained to start to grow again and then tilled again. . . . .  wait two more weeks and till again.

After this experience, I have a new appreciation of tools/equipment that are needed to make farming easier . . .  or in my case large gardening easier. If you are new to small farming or just thinking of doing it, here is what I consider necessary tools and equipment: shovel, hoe, small tractor to operate rototiller, mower/whipper, renovator and plastic layer. A shovel is a must and used for so much on a daily basis. From irrigating, to dig holes, scoop soil to dig weeds out or just chop weeds down.  A hoe (hoop hoe preferable, in my opinion)  for planting and weeding; used a lot for weeding unless you cover your whole planting area in plastic. And a tractor and small implements to work the ground with ease, quicker and with less muscle aches. And our new piece of equipment this year is a plastic layer, a purchase I thought could wait until next year  but the farmer insisted it was a need this year. I now know he was right. We have laid so much plastic so quickly and the plastic is so tight and neat on the row; much better than doing it by hand with a shovel. I am very happy with the farmers new toy.

plastic layer
This is the first row laid with the plastic layer. The beds are firmer, more uniform, easier to plant in & the wind can’t pick up the plastic. The rows on the right were laid by hand using a shovel to throw dirt on the plastic. The difference is amazing!

Something new for me this year is straw bale gardening. I have read and heard about it, but don’t know anyone who has done it. So I’m trying it with just a couple of bales because I’m afraid of failing again – like my no-till, mulch gardening method. I’m interested in watching plants grow out of the bales and cover the bale like a hanging basket. If you are interested in trying straw bale gardening too and are in search of straw, look no more. We still have Organic straw bales for sale.   Organic Wheat Straw

Enjoy your growing. And don’t be afraid to try something new! Life is one giant experiment.

June Happenings & Plans  

  • Finish Planting
  • We expect to have sugar snap peas, radishes, & zucchini ready this month.
  • Wood River Farmers’ Markets begin; Ketchum June 13th & Hailey June 29th  Farmers’ Markets
  • And daily weeding begins!

Being A Farmers Wife

Being a farmer’s wife means sacrificing a lot, working really hard, growing lots of food, preserving lots of food, cooking wholesome home grown food and being stuck on the farm all summer. You feel like you are doing good, rewarding  even though some people don’t appreciate it and complain about the price. In my opinion, then move on and go buy your food at the grocery store where you can get it cheaper and eat chemical ridden and engineered food. On other days, I feel trapped by what feels like a money sucking farm. We can’t go very far away during the spring, summer or fall because everyday there is irrigating, feeding animals, planting, harvesting or all five at once. It truly feels like a trap by late summer!

It means cooking a meal for a whole crew of helpers for harvest, going out to help with harvest, serving the food, clean up, then going back out to harvest rest the day. It means a full day of canning and preserving fruits and vegetables, then cooking a meal for your hungry family when you are exhausted wanting to simply sit down and put your feet up. It means sweeping your house three times a day because there this so much dirt and mud for the whole family to get into and no one will obey the rule of leaving shoes outside. It means maintaining a yard and garden on your own and then helping with the farm work. It also means the farmer’s wife will be sitting on the porch or deck by herself with no one to spend that special time with or to enjoy the view of some of your hard work with because when the farmer sits down he falls asleep. So he keeps going until well after dark and then collapses into bed. It means not having someone to talk to when you need to talk because the farmer is in the field, on the phone or sleeping. It means not spending a much time together even though you are on the same farm. There is no quitting time or weekend days off on a farm! For this farmer’s wife, it means working my tail off all summer with no vacation and then homeschooling for nine months before we start the whole vicious cycle over again. That means no real easy going down time for me, which leads to burnout and a grumpy wife some days.

Being a farmer’s wife means working twice as hard as the farmer himself because she has all the inside duties and is also the one and only farm hand. I don’t think the farmer even realizes how hard the farm wife works even though he has been told several times. We farm wives or at least this one would like to be appreciated more than just hearing, “I appreciate what you do.” This farm wife wants to be a princess for awhile! Some days I would feel like a princess to have something as simple as a clothes dryer to use instead of having to line dry all the clothes. This farm wife wants to be the one being taken care of instead of doing the taking care of! Especially since it’s my birthday!
Note to Readers: I love my farm life and my husband, but farm work can be hard on a person. Especially when your birthday turns into just another long, hard day of work on the farm.

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