How exactly does a person LEARN to farm? I guess what I really mean is how do you LEARN to make a comfortable living at it?
Owning a farm and knowing how to make a living on a farm are two entirely different things. Most people I have met since we moved to the countryside have an off-farm day job and farming is their second job. Actually, I think everybody I’ve met fits that bill, part-time farmers, full-time something else.
Now that I have a farm of my own, I’m trying to learn how to farm AND trying to figure out how to make a living on these beautiful acres. I should add: I happen to be completely untrained and uneducated in farming. So far I’ve “trained” by talking to people who have farmed and by reading books about it.
This weekend, though, I did something else. I went to a farming conference.
You know a post that has “Turn, Turn, Turn” in the title is surely about there being a season to everything, a time to live, a time to die. You’re right on that.
It is a stark, unfortunate truth, there is a season for everything.
Yes, death is a part of the circle of life. And sure, I can sing that song too. (“from the day we arrive on the planet…”)
But knowing the words to the songs doesn’t mean that I can deal with it. And being able to quote Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all” doesn’t make it so.
I am faced with the “turn, turn, turn/circle of life/loved and lost” concept much more frequently since I moved to a farm. And, quite frankly, I don’t like it. I’m not so happy about that part of farming. (I keep saying that I should just stick with turnip farming.)
You have heard me talk about one of the sweetest, most friendly chickens ever hatched, our Sicilian Buttercup we called TyGee. She was the tiniest in the flock. She was also the most loving in the flock. She’d rather be held by me or my daughter than to eat.
She was sick last week. I did my best to nurse her back to health, but I failed. Epic failure.