Hey it's Farmer John and I am here to answer a few questions that were presented in a previous blog entry. But first, let me thank all of you for being faithful readers of the blog and supporters or our farming endeavor.
This will be the first of a two part series. Mostly today I am answering general farm-life questions. As a rookie farmer I can't guarantee any of the answers to technical questions are correct. But of course I will tell you what I do know and make up the rest....
How much of your day is spent outside?
About half of my day is spent outside. This has been somewhat surprising to me. When envisioning my future life as a farmer I thought it would be filled sunup to sundown with laboring in the fields, which is what I was excited about. But alas, there are bills to pay, customer orders, phone calls, and frequent trips to the hardware store to find the parts for what I have managed to break on that particular day.
Farmer John, from your new perspective as a full time farmer, would you support an effort to repeal the 13th amendment?
Most certainly not P.S. I know I have the reputation of immediately putting all friends, family, neighbors, solicitors, etc to work the moment they have crossed the bridge onto the farm. But, I am convinced that this is not any form of slavery. While I might pay meager wages (or no wages) I know that the workers' compensation is more than satisfactory. They get wonderful meals, good company, learning opportunities, lively conversation, free vegetables, and great exercise. It would be hard to put a price-tag on these benefits.
I'll list a couple of favorites and and a couple of hardships. The best part of running an organic farm is the food. I feel Mollie and I eat like Royalty. I also really enjoy being around the farm animals, especially when they are on the correct side of the fence. There is nothing more relaxing than being in a barn at the end of a long day listening to the cattle chewing contently on sweet smelling hay.
On the flip side I really hate when machinery breaks down. When you're using the farm equipment that your 73-year-old father used when he was a teenager, there is a whole lot of breaking down. The hardest part, hands down, is dealing with the death/slaughter of my livestock. Intellectually I feel strongly that pasture-raised meats benefit small farms and consumers. But emotionally it is never easy to kill something you have spent time caring for.
Farmer John - Have you found anything of value in your kitchen garden? As kids, we found a lot of marbles. I've seen the picture where the now garden was once a barn.
I think you are correct about the building being on the location of our current kitchen garden. Though I heard that it was a small cabin left from the days when this was the county poor farm. We still do often find marbles in the garden when plowing in the spring. There must have been a hundred of them rise to the surface over the years. I am sure that it was some child's prize stash of marbles a century ago. We often also find rusty unrecognizable tools and machine parts. In the new garden this year I have found quite a collection of broken hay rake teeth.