I originally titled this “Don’t forget to celebrate your hobby farm wins!”, but then realized that this could, and should, be applied to ALL your accomplishments… never mind just
surviving farming on your hobby farm.
The problem with a hobby farm is (as the name implies), that it is, in fact, a hobby. Which means it isn’t your main income, and that you are probably doing something else for 40 hours a week or more elsewhere. So which means that all the coop-cleaning, pig-shit-shovelling, egg-collecting, sheep-wrangling, feed-shopping-unloading-and-hauling-off-to-which-ever-animal-needs-it, has to be done during your spare time. It can’t be ignored just because it’s raining, or that you don’t feel like it that day. Sometimes it get’s so busy – enjoyable but busy – that we forget to celebrate the accomplishments. And we forget that we are all learning as we go. You can read all the books you want, but nothing compares to the actual doing… and that’s exhausting. Physically, and mentally, exhausting.
Take this week for example, “we” took 7 piglets in to the vet to be castrated. Simple enough, right? Translation? The Chef, (since my foot’s still mangled from a freak running incident) had to catch all the piglets, while avoiding some very angry pig mommas, then had to determine the piglets’ sex quickly, put into dog crates, then drive to the vet’s office, drop off piglets, pick up said piglets… then make temporary housing in our barn for completely dry recovery area, and lure in 2 momma pigs with peaches from main pen to barn area, and make sure that they were happy with their new digs with food and water (and more peaches). Of course, then there’s monitoring castrated babies to make sure everyone is eating and happy. And you know what? All the piglets are doing well and mommas are happy. It’s a win! And considering it’s our first time to do all that, it’s worth a pat on the back. Never mind now having two successful litters! I can hear the “Hells Yeah!” from all the first time hobby farmers out there! Farming isn’t easy, and anything the first time round is stressful, challenging, and damn-it… a win when it works!
Since we clearly are crazy, we decided to buy a fixer-upper and start a hobby farm at the same time. ‘Cause who doesn’t like a challenge, right? Guess what we did this afternoon? We installed a door on our main floor bathroom… Successfully! The guests don’t have to sing anymore when they visit and use the facilities (some of those tunes were fabulous by the way). We’ve never installed a door before and after watching a couple of youtube videos, we did it. And it swings properly and doesn’t scrape the floor! Clearly a win! (Should you require to install an interior door, watch this video, it’s brilliant.)
So here’s to doing it. Here’s to ACTUALLY doing it. Here’s to not sitting on the fence and being a wishful thinker! Here’s to all the other crazy hobby farmers that are knee deep in pig shit and thinking to themselves, “I’m so glad I’m here!”. Here’s to living our dreams, whatever they are, and experiencing all this first hand. And although it’s a crazy existence, exhausting most of the time… it’s incredible. Have a dream yourself? Don’t wait. Get on it. Life is amazing, wonderful and crazy, and waiting till retirement is ridiculous. Give yourself a push and try it. Whether it be farming, traveling, writing a novel, writing a blog, or whatever, don’t wait. What’s the worst that can happen? You decide you don’t like it? Change course and try something else!
And if you have started in on your crazy adventure… congratulations! Don’t forget to celebrate that you wrote a chapter, started a canvas, signed up for a painting class, or took your first photos and edited successfully for your brand new blog. The wins are hard work and scary at first, but so worth it! Here’s to the wins!
Cheers! (With a big glass of Sauvignon Blanc),