Farming is not romantic. I don’t mean romantic in the sense of love between two people. I mean it is not picturesque. Farming is hard, dirty, hot and sweaty, buggy, and frustrating as heck. You have to love it to do it (or love the man who loves to do it), or you won’t succeed. And even then, there will be lots of times you will fail. The thing with farming is that nothing is concrete or set in stone. Things break down, crops fail, and animals die. When you wake up in the morning you never know what the day will bring.
This is our third season of vegetable and poultry farming. And it is hard and frustrating right now. Chad currently working full-time makes it very difficult on top of the normal hardships of farming. Though we’re growing a lot and getting better, lots of things still go wrong. If it weren’t for Chad’s “never give up” attitude I would have probably thrown in the towel a long time ago. But I know deep down in my heart of hearts that this way of life will provide a good and prosperous life for us some day. And as I’ve written before, I am so thankful my children will grow up here on this farm knowing what it means to work hard and follow your dreams no matter what those around you think.
So for those of you who think the farm life is just idyllic and dreamy with a cute little family in their overalls sitting on the front porch you no nothing about the farm life. (And while I’m at it, the farm dating website most likely has no real farmers on it and if you think you want to marry a real farmer you need to know what you’re getting into first.)
So here is a list of the things that have gone wrong so far this season (most of them this week!):
- Tomato seed is one of the most expensive seeds we purchase. Because our first planting in the green house did not come up we had to replant all 800ish plants. Most of them did not come up either, but thankfully we have great friends who gave us lots of tomato plants leftover from their farm. We later learned that our greenhouse material is too thick for enough light to come through, which was also why our pepper plants hardly germinated this year either. (Green house dilemma=one more problem to fix this winter).
- Since we don’t have a very good water well to irrigate with we have to store water in tanks and use a pump to overhead water our crops. Unfortunately, a small amount of fertilizer was left in the tanks and it burned/killed our pepper and tomato crop and about ¼ of our sweet potato crop. So after we thought most of the problems we had with peppers and tomatoes were solved, we still lost the entire crop! Yes, we cried. (Thankfully, our onion and potato crop this year was the best we’ve had yet!)
- We ordered 100 turkeys a few weeks ago, but 30 of them died on the way here. Thankfully, the hatchery sent us replacements. Unfortunately, the barn cats killed all but 3 of the replacement turkeys over the past 2 days. (We cried again).
- Our electric pump went out this week that we use to irrigate our crops.
- Despite Chad’s best efforts of sealing up one of the hen houses, we’ve lost several hens over the past couple of weeks because of a possum.
- We currently have a batch of 300 broiler chickens in the pasture. We lost around 20 today because they ran out of water and it was extremely hot. Chad was at work, and I didn’t think about them today because Miss Eden is sick and has had a fever all day.
I’m sure other things went wrong/died, but either Chad did not tell me about them or I just can’t remember right now. I’m not writing this so you will for sorry for us. I’m writing this because it has been a very long day and I need to get this off my chest. Sometimes it would be easier to quit. Sometimes I ask why in the world are we doing this. We can’t win for losing, and nothing is going right. But I know some day we will look back and be glad we kept pushing through. And we are teaching Eden to work hard and not to give up. If you want something you can’t give up. That’s why I love my husband so much. No matter how many things go wrong and no matter how many people think what he is doing is crazy and a waste of time and money, he keeps going.
No, farming is not romantic. But it is enduring. There are several farmers in my life, and I admire them all. No matter how broke down things get they keep going.
This evening as I was getting Eden to sleep I sang “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus” to her. I know the lyrics to that song are true. God is taking care of us, even when things go wrong I know he is right here with us. I am grateful to have the peace to know I can put my trust and hope in Christ and know that everything is going to be all right.