Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Purpose of the Farm Redefined

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about how we struggle to come to terms with the purpose of our farm. Is it a money maker or is it a hobby? You can read that post here.

As much as we REALLY would love this farm to be a money maker and keep my husband working at home, we know the reality is that it isn't. We are caught between two worlds. We have spent some time these last few weeks praying and evaluating our farm. We have come to the conclusion that it is more than a hobby farm, but less than a working farm. It is here to provide for our family and friends, but that is all for now. We want to be as self sustaining as possible and this farm allows that for us. Sometimes we feel like we are working so hard at work and farm that there is little time to enjoy the rest. Michael loves to hunt. He didn't hunt one time last year. There wasn't time. That may not seem like a bid deal. However, we have 3 boys who WANT to hunt, but need their dad to go with them. The same holds true for fishing. One of our sons spent his birthday money on trout fishing equipment two years ago. He has waited for his dad to take him so they can learn together. I heard them talking last night about going trout fishing this week.
We made our first steps yesterday in making our farm work better for us. We sold almost all of our sheep. I had to fight back the tears when I saw them loaded in the trailer. I didn't want them to go, but I knew it was the right thing. I could see the look of relief on Michael's face after they left. This is a huge stress reliever because it brings our flock down to a much easier to handle number. We kept Peter the Great, and 3 breeding ewes. We kept Lilly Bit just because I love her. She will grow into a breeding ewe someday...maybe, but she will always be a pet. We kept 6 wethers for our own freezer. They aren't fat enough yet to butcher so we will keep feeding them until the time is right. With the flock much smaller, it shouldn't be too long for them to gain the needed weight.
At times I feel like we are going backwards, but I know in reality we are going forward in a very good way. We get caught up in the whole notion of "it wouldn't be that hard to make some extra money", but it does become extremely hard when you aren't equipped for the task at hand. Then it goes from being hard to being stressful and other things are left undone. Our most important task at hand are our children. I don't want them leaving our home being disheartened because their dad never had time to take them hunting or fishing. Because after all, hunting and fishing isn't about the activity as much as it is about the relationships that are built during the time spent doing the activity.
grace and peace,


Paige said...

Awww...I'm sure that it's hard down-sizing the farm a bit. The kids will appreciate it especially as they get older and remember all the fun memories with their dad!

Dreamer said...

You are doing the right thing, keeping your children at the forefront. They are the most important things on your farm and in your lives as parents. Your children will appreciate the sacrifices you are making for them and the life you've given them. You and Micheal will appreciate having less stress in your life and by extension, your marriage. I wish I could lighten my hubby's load and see that same relief in his face.