Good Year, Bad Year: Balance on the Farm

Good Year, Bad Year: Balance on the Farm
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Our gardens are the best they’ve ever been this year. No kidding. Virtually weed free and so productive.

Good Year, Bad Year: Balance On The Farm - A Farmish Kind of Life

This year is the first year that my hustle isn’t to keep up with weeding, but instead to get the amazing bounty into the house and processed before the next basket of goodness comes in. You guys, there are so many baskets…

Good Year, Bad Year: Balance On The Farm - A Farmish Kind of Life

So, it’s a good year on the homestead, right?

Yeah, it is—if you don’t look in my barns.

Oh my word, don’t go near my barns. Our pasture is overgrown with weeds, I don’t think I could find a cow if I put one out there. One of our chicken moms killed each and every one of her chicks as they hatched. One of our pheasant moms abandoned her entire clutch of babies. We cut our out-of-control rogue chicken flock of 60ish laying hens and their rooster friends by 2/3. We lost an entire incubator of pheasant eggs. And the worst part? I cringe to even admit this. I forgot to order meat birds. Who forgets to order meat birds?

Good Year, Bad Year: Balance On The Farm - A Farmish Kind of Life

So while you can drive up to my farm and gush and ooh and aah about my amazingly lush, weed free gardens that are literally exploding with produce, don’t go anywhere near my barns because friend, they are all sorts of chaos.

But that’s “balance” on the farm—not in the sense that there is time for everything, but that there is a time for everything. (See the difference?) Every year is different. Next year I might have amazingly productive barns and a garden that struggles to pop out enough tomatoes to fill the canner even once.

But this is okay, and here is why:

It keeps us humble. I can plan all I want and have things worked out to  perfect “T”… and it doesn’t matter. There is so much about the homestead life that is out of our control. We really can’t do it all, as much as we may want to. There is only so much time. And yet, next year you might be surprised at how much more you can do. Every year is different as far as what you can handle. What seemed easy last year isn’t easy at all this year. What you fly through this year might be impossible next year. The way that life on the farm works out often doesn’t make sense, but it’s the only life that makes sense to so many people.

Good Year, Bad Year: Balance on the Farm - A Farmish Kind of Life

So, yes—it was a good year. It was also a bad year. It was also a crazy mixed up, planned out, full of surprises, oh my gosh can you believe it, and wait why isn’t this working, kind of year. And you know what? I bet next year will be the same kind of thing in all different ways.

Such is life on a farm.

Do you homeschool? So do we! Check out my book — The Homeschool Highway: How to Navigate Your Way Without Getting Carsick.

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2 thoughts on “Good Year, Bad Year: Balance on the Farm”

  • Our “garden” is both good and bad this year. We’re in the midst of building a house (as in my husband and I are actually the ones doing the vast majority of the work) and there definitely isn’t time for gardening. However, I have been picking tomatoes from our garden daily. They are volunteers that came up from last year’s plants. I weeded exactly once…in May. I had to stomp down 5′ tall weeds and the plants are all on the ground, which means many of the tomatoes are rotten/chewed on, but we get enough for some sandwiches or salads and hey, free food!

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