Saturday, May 30, 2015

5 People You Need To Know If You Live on A Farm

Farming seems like such a solitary lifestyle.  In fact, many people get into it to leave the "rat race" of urban life.  You imagine yourself hunkered down in front of the wood stove, eating organic, non GMO rabbit/vegetable stew raised, grown and harvested on your property.  There is no sound of the evening news; just the occasional howl of a coyote.  And you did all this with your own two hands, with nary another person in the picture.

Um, okay, I'm going to pop, smash and blow your bubble out of the water.

While you can do all those things with wild abandon, keep this in mind:

You didn't get there all by your lonesome.

I like to watch shows like "Wild Alaska" and "Alaskan Railroad"  (knowing full well there is no way on God's Green Earth that I could do that, but intensely engrossed anyway) and see how they do things.  But even they rely on the railroad, other people and supplies from town to live their lives.  So keep your independence, but get over the fact that you have to do it alone, else you are a failure.  There are at least five people you need to know - or someone who knows these people - to live on a farm (and survive).

1.  Veterinarian - If you are going to raise animals, you need someone on speed dial who knows animals.  That thing hanging out of the cow (that's not poo or offspring) is a prolapsed uterus and needs to be solved by someone with the letters "DVM" after their name.  Another one that is helpful to know is someone who works with the vet and has some of the vet training.  I have a friend that I know I can call to see if the dog's recent diarrhea bout is worthy of a vet visit (and cost) or if I can try something at home. She'll come out and check things out if I offer alcoholic refreshments.  Bonus!

2.  Small Engine Mechanic - Ours was here until midnight last night trying to wrestle a new tire onto the rim of our riding lawn mower.  Last week he came out to the farm within 4 hours of us snapping the doohickey bracket that holds the rototiller to the tractor (another reason I need this guy - I don't even remember what the name of the part was that broke in two).  He knew a guy who knew a guy who welded it back together for $200.  It would have cost $700 and two weeks to replace the sucker.  He will come by again today to replace the belt and sharpen the blades to both our riding lawn mowers.  We feed him cinnamon rolls and he just keeps coming back.

No way in hell was this going to be me.
We called the neighbor!
3.  Neighbor - Preferably nice ones, but even cranky ones will do.  Last night the neighbor's cow ate the string of somebody's birthday mylar balloon, so every time she moved, the balloon went with her.  Looking out the window we just thought she was playing.  It wasn't until we called the neighbor and went over to help that we realized what had happened.  It took one of us distracting the cow for the other one to step on the string and then another one to scare the cow.  The string came out, the cow took off, we burned the mylar balloon in the burn barrel.  Note to Everyone:  Don't let balloons float into the air - you never know where they will come down.

4.  Old Farmer -  This doesn't mean some crudgety 90 year old (although it can, seriously it can be a riot.  Especially when they go home).  This means someone who has been around this farming block far longer than you. We went to put on the auger to the back of the tractor, and even though we'd done it before (almost a decade prior), we could not figure out how the heck to extend the shaft.  We pulled, tugged, twisted, hit, everything, but we were still a good 12 inches off.  So we called out the "damn near 90" year old neighbor.  He got into his tool kit, pulled out a hammer and chisel, hit it in two spots and it slid completely apart like it was supposed to do.  It took him four minutes to do what had taken the Hubs and I forty minutes to not do.

Another farmer told us about this fencing.  Be
gone with the barbed wire!!
5.  Other Farmers - I love going to the feed store and seeing the baby chicks in the galvanized feeding troughs as much as the next guy/gal/person.  They are too stinking cute.  Then I remember the farm down the road that has a broody hen and eggs due to hatch any day.  I would much rather support my neighbor than big companies any day.  Also other farmers are a plethora of information.  Wanna know which type of corn grows best in the area?  Ask them, because the seed catalogs you order from aren't going to know.  Wanna know the trick to getting the biggest tomato?  Ask another farmer because they will tell you to put eggshells in the dirt prior to planting, and pinch off the suckers when they show up.


6.  Yourself -  Yes, really.  I know for a fact that I like planting and weeding the garden much more than I like harvesting (go figure).  I know that I cannot weedeat to save my soul (well, I could, but I would have shoulder pain for a week until I had to weedeat again and we'd be in some cyclical bitchy session all growing season).  I know that I can paint far better than my husband (he knows it too - probably from me telling him every six seconds).  I know that my Teenager is a better chicken whisperer than I am.  How she gets those suckers in the pen without saying a word or using a stick, I'll never know.

So go forth and prosper.  And take other people with you.


  1. Wish I could find a vet that did house calls for chickens! lol Now that would be valuable! Great post!

    Thanks for linking up with Green Thumb Thursday! I hope you'll stop back again this week!


  2. You definitely made me laugh as I was reading your post, but everything is so true. I grew up on a farm so I know all what it takes to make farm run and if your just starting their is so much you need to learn. Other farmers even grumpy ones are essential - they have a world of knowledge and experience. The small mechanic is also a must there is always something breaking down.

  3. Alcohol and cinnamon buns, now that's a payment plan. Another one that works for the "vet" is a retired vet. They are just as capable as a practicing vet (although they might recommend that you use a practicing vet for some procedures...) and will often work for alcohol and cinnamon buns. You might need to throw in dinner every once in a while, but otherwise they're very reasonably priced.
    I love the 90 year old farmer suggestion. They really are packed full of knowledge and can be a hoot.
    Thanks for the great list.

  4. Tracy @ Our Simple LifeJune 26, 2015 at 12:10 PM

    This list was perfect! When we moved to the country the first thing we did was introduce ourselves to the old farmer next door! He has been a source of great information ever since!

    This post would be perfect for Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop. I hope you go add it so we can share it with our readers.