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Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Labor Day

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.



Karina said...

It's definitely worth being married to a backyard farmer :) I know he'd say it's worth it too.

Edain said...

We are planning to be homesteaders, whether that is an urban one or not, so we are studying various things now before we get to that part of our lives and I know it will be worth it. :)

Oh and I've just given you an award: http://englishpaganincanada.blogspot.com/2010/09/additions-and-award.html

Enjoy! :)


Don't forget the physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits. This is a labor of love (sometimes hate).

The Unusually Unusual Farmchick said...

I see so many friends who live lives where everything revolves around their job and t.v shows. Barely anytime for enjoying or appreciating the world around us. I have never known happiness as I have with this life. As a "backyard farmer" (we went from 1 acre to 3 acres just a few months ago), I am able to spend more time with my family and NOT spend it with coworkers. The seasons are appreciated more and our children are begining to realize the value of family time vs. tv or or other electronics. An example- we spent our labor day as a family prepping & pressing 5 gallons of cider from our apple trees along with the work of 3 stock pots tomato sauce fresh from the garden. The t.v did not come one until 1/2 hr before bed. Our home was filled with laughter, music and made lasting memories. Vacations are nice but we have found that going away is not very hard as long as the animal population is kept at a minimum. Having dairy animals will change that since very few know or are willing to come feed AND milk 2x a day. :) Not everything about this life is sweet as cherry pie but the positive far outweigh the any negative.

katiegirl said...

It's not work if you love doing it, right? Yes, I'd have less to do without the garden an animals, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I enjoy being outside and doing chores. Well, maybe I enjoy it much less when it's 100* and humid out....

But I'd find life boring if I only had the house and nothing else.

Mike said...

Very inspiring comments from everyone. Thank you.

Michelle said...

Being a backyard farmer is so much more rewarding than the alternative. I'm enjoying every moment of the long days and my children are experiencing a love for nature and learning that I never expected to see. This way of life is such a blessing and I count it all joy!

-Sydney- said...

I love my backyard farm. . .but it is hard to go on vacation in the summer unless we have a caretaker to water gardens and collect eggs.