Friday 23 November 2012

Farm Work

Our business has taken on a life of it's own and seems to be pulling us along.
In addition to the products we offer at our own homestead, our skills are taking us to other farms.
Farm work is never done and there is always the need for an extra hand or two.
But I never imagined that we could fit so well into a culture from which we never hailed.

Farmers are notorious for always being behind on their work.
It's not for the lack of ambition or work ethic.
It's just that the farm encompasses so much more than just farming itself.
There is equipment and infrastructure that must keep up to the ravages of use and time.
And that requires time in itself.

I have spoken about our lifestyle being more challenging because we are not part of a wider community of similar households.
In an era of centralized, corporate agriculture, the traditional farm also suffers from community erosion.
Farms are gradually dispersed by housing development and others are left fallow.
The fabric of farming communities has been worn threadbare,
leaving the remaining hardy souls with fewer neighbours to rely on when needed.
It doesn't take long to fall behind.

Farm profit margins are thin outside of the subsidized sectors.
That doesn't allow much room for more hiring.
We are filling in where there is a need.
And gaining experience rapidly in doing so.

We could have built our farm on our own and been insulated from the greater farming community;
but not without the loss of over a century's worth of insight.
There are so many old farmsteads out there with a rich history of trials and successes for the families that have lived the agricultural life.
And with that history comes a glimpse into our own future.


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