I was talking to one of my backyard farming mentors yesterday and I asked him if he was looking forward to a day off for Labor Day. He said he was looking forward to a day off from his paid career but as a backyard farmer there is no such thing as a day off.
Yesterday he was planning on having a nice relaxing Sunday. He went out to feed his Turkeys and one of his Tom's had killed a hen so he unexpectedly had to pluck some feathers and clean it so the meat wouldn't go to waste. So much for relaxing.
For Labor day he plans on harvesting his Honey and starting to get his bees ready for the winter. He also told me he wants to plant some of his fall beets and greens. He also needs to harvest a bunch of his tomatoes and if there is time, start bottling them.
A part of me was jealous since I would like to have bees and turkeys. Another part of me was glad that I don't have to do all of those chores tomorrow.
It's kind of a bittersweet position to be a backyard farmer. Think of all the work of having animals and a garden. It makes it much more difficult to leave on vacation or just take a day off. It means getting up earlier than most, and spending the evening after work in the dirt instead of watching college football.
There are positives as well. There is a lot of satisfaction in harvesting and seeing the fruits of your labors. The health benefits of having fresh food are great as well. I also appreciate the fact that it teaches my children how to work. In addition, I am more self sufficient and better prepared if my income is reduced or we have some type of disaster.
So what do you all think? Is it worth all of the work to be a backyard farmer? Do the benefits outweigh the drawbacks? Leave a comment and let me know what benefits or drawbacks you find in being more self sufficient and why it is worth it.