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Agrarian Harvest

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

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Summer Balancing Act

How does a person balance work, play and rest when you farm? On the farm there is always work to be done. A farmer works from sun up to sun down and lots of times in between in the dark. I know that is true on our farm. We are getting pretty talented at working in the dark while holding flashlights in our mouths.

So the fourth of July is upon us, the summer is flying by and what have we done all summer long? Any guesses? You got it! We have worked, worked, worked!!! I am convinced that life is too short to work so hard and summer is for fun. So I’m trying to convince the Other Half that we need scheduled hours for work and scheduled hours for play and rest. The crops will grow even if there are weeds growing among them. Would they have produced better if we pulled every weed within a foot diameter around every plant? At this point, I don’t care. They are producing, there is a crop to harvest, now let’s enjoy life! Life, fun and memories will pass us by if we insist on getting all the work done before we take a break. Farmers need to observe holidays too. In fact, farmers should have a holiday just for them. They, of all people, deserve a break. Yes, I do think highly of farmers. We grew up in agricultural communities and on farms so we have experienced the “farm life” all of our  lives. Farmers work almost everyday of the year no matter what the weather does; there is always water to change or animals to feed or care for. Farmers work, work darn hard, and feed a lot of people without ever hearing a simple, “Thank You.”. No, your food didn’t grow on a grocery store shelf, it all started on the farm. Well, at least all the food that is not in a box started on a farm. To all the farmers out there, listen up, take a day off. It’s okay! Oh, but you may still need to irrigate and feed the animals unless you can get someone else to fill in for you.

We are starting by taking a couple of hours a week to take the kids fishing at a local lake. Maybe we or should I say the Other Half  and a lot of other farmers I know can work up to taking whole days off as a family. As for this weekend, I’m ready to have some fun and enjoy these wonderful summer days. I’m taking the weekend off and I’m positive the farm and weeds will still be here when I get up Monday morning. Happy Independence Day! And don’t let the summer pass you by!

Update: We were able to enjoy a day of fun, local festivities together as a family.  Not a full day off from most people’s  opinion because there was irrigation water to change and animals to feed so just a little bit of work. Or as a farmer views it, this part of farming is not work, it’s just a normal function of everyday life like breathing and feeding yourself breakfast. So we officially called this a “day off.” And the weeds are still here! We will get to work on those today.

Kids, Gardening and Growing

The attraction between kids and the soil just fascinates me. It’s like there is some higher power that pulls kids to that space of earth where there is no lawn growing and there is bare soil showing, like the natural attraction there is between cats and a sandbox. They just can’t resist the urge to get their hands dirty, digging, flinging dirt all over themselves and anyone near by, probably eating a little too. Our kids have always been interest in all the work going on in the garden or maybe it was just that urge to cover themselves in dirt at a young age, but they now show a real interest in growing food. I’m actually surprised that we haven’t plugged any pipes with a buildup of dirt from all the baths to wash off all the gardening and dirt digging fun off the kids. It is a regular occasion to bathe the kids during the summer and have the tub lined with dirt when the water is drained. We have said more than once that our kids are like chickens, they have to take their dirt bath or dust themselves daily!

They were all drawn to dirt at a young age and still love it. And now that our gardens have become fields there is a lot for them to be involved in. They get to do more than just dig and smear it all over themselves. And they want to be more than just involved in all we are planting, weeding, tending, and harvesting. They want their own garden space and they have it now. It has been amazing to watch them plant seeds in their own arrangements or designs, carefully and diligently weeding, watch it all sprout and grow into seedling. Then get excited to harvest the fruits or vegetables of their labor. Life is so thrilling!

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Farm boy loves all aspects of it. And others like farm girl gets excited talking about gardening, but not so enthusiastic to actually do the work tending a garden. Our little farm princess loves to be involved and once again loves the dirt, but doesn’t have the attention span to tend a garden of her own yet. She is always there helping everyone else though, even if that means hoeing out the vegetables or watering the driveway and then yelling when someone step on her imaginary plants.. She’s helping, she’s dirty and she’s happy!

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So give your kids a garden to create, grow and eat or at least a piece of dirt to dust themselves in. You’ll be amazed at what they can grow. And how they grow and learn with it. It doesn’t matter if they are proud of just that one plant or even if it is just weeds that they grow, lots of them are edible too! Happy gardening and growing!

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