Over the past few months a few things have become amazingly clear to me. One of those is being a wife, a mother to three children, homeschooling and all the activities that go along with that, taking care of my elderly Grandmother, and farming and ranching leave little time for me to catch my breath. Thus, it’s been months since I have been able to sit down to write a few lines.
Another thing that has become quite clear is that the easy part of farming is the planning. Implementing those plans can, at times, be amazingly overwhelming.
With Spring upon us, our intensity is going up daily. The cows have already started calving, the goats will start kidding in the next 3 weeks, first batch of laying pullets are out in the pasture, next batch of broilers will be ordered soon. The Farman and I are super excited about starting a CO-op garden with 6 local families on our farm this year, and have been working around the clock to get the garden expansion in and prepped for planting in just 2 short weeks, (Yes! We Texans start planting in March!). After that we have a pressing need to get the 25 acres of newly cleared land amended and planted with good native grass seed. Then cross fencing will need to be installed. And of course there’s is the ever looming wonder about whether we will get the much needed rain that will sustain this beautiful, yet very costly, seed through our hot summer this year. Once all this is done, we will begin constructing a chicken processing facility and start the process of getting our license to sell pastured meat birds.
When I put it all down, there’s no wonder that I am feeling the load some days.
It’s during these times that our support group, that amazing group of farmers, homesteaders, workers, dreamers, and friends, have become more important than ever to us. I am so incredibly thankful for dear friends that understand how it feels when the farm load piles up, but the laundry must still be done.
And it’s during these times that the Farman and I have learned more than ever to share in the load. To lean on each other, to embrace each other, to laugh instead of get angry, to understand that each of us sees things differently, and it’s OK to let go and trust the others ideas. The Farman knows that sometimes I just need to vent. I need to get it all out there, maybe even shed a tear or 5. I don’t need him to fix it, I don’t need him to do anything except listen and give me a big hug. And I know that there are times I just need to let him have some space. Don’t tell him to calm down, don’t tell him he’s over reacting, just let him huff it out in his shop and he’ll be all OK again. We have taken the time to learn each other, a life long process, I know, but none the less, if we let life get us so busy we loose each other, what’s the point of this whole thing?
And it’s during these times that I have learned to stop. Just stop sometimes. Breathe. In and out. Slowly. Pace myself, focus, breathe. Then, at the end of a day full of homeschooling, cooking, farm work, ranch work, and all the other tasks in life, to just simply light a fire in the fire ring, prop my feet up, roast a marshmallow and laugh with the ones I love most in life.
Farming and homesteading can be the most rewarding life style, I believe, the world has to offer. But it can also burn you up and burn you out.
We are purposing to pace ourselves this year. We are purposing to grow, but not just grow our farm. To grow food is for a season at a time, but to grow relationships is for our lifetime.