I started my little farm 3 years ago now, with an admitted lack of knowledge in farming. I’d been around lots of animals, even lived on a beef farm, but I knew my own farm was going to be a fantastic adventure. And was it ever.
Between the endless late nights checking in the barn for new life, the tender care rendered towards the ill or infirmed, and the learning curve even steeper then I had ever anticipated; I feel completely head-over heels for this work.
I enter the food production system with my own ideals of how animals should be raised, and a number of which I still hold; but what I found was a deeper respect for the people who give their entire lives over to farming, and the endless toil that comes with it.
Now don’t get me wrong, the work in amazing. To be outdoors in the fresh air and on soil you can stick your hand into and call your own, there isn’t anything like it in the world. It’s not something I would give up for anything, to be able to raise my children with an intimate knowledge of where their food comes from and with such an integral connection to this community.
I have learned the sorrows of losing a favourite animal, the joys of seeing new life, the pride of putting well-received food on to tables, and the frustrations of dealing in bureaucracy.
What I never expected was to have forged indelible friendships with my “coworkers” across the country and beyond. Hardworking, humble, open, giving and welcoming; the pastoral vision of the farm may no longer be a reality, but it lives on in the hearts of those who grow our food. From the smallest farms, to the largest commercial animal operations, no one does this for the pay-cheque; they do it because it’s in their blood.