[Farm Wife Friday] A Farm Table Discussion
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Calling all farm wives and all of you girls who live on farms. This post is specifically for YOU. All of you wanna be farmer girls and at heart farm girls, feel free to jump in, but be forewarned:

The kid gloves are off. This post is about the nitty gritty, dirt under your finger nails, hard work, sweaty, stinky, chaotic, too much to handle, stressful life of a farm wife. No romanticism will be found here today.

Those of you currently running your farm know what I’m talking about. Our friends think that we live in the idealistic peaceful environment, no stress, animals always where they are supposed to be, happy and free children, and satisfied customers. Sure there are moments it’s like this, but lets face it, being a farm wife/farmer is HARD work. Long, long summer hours that extend to the seasons after and before summer.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of spending some time with Adele from Hippo Hollow Farms in TN. We are both homeschooling farm wives who also run marketing for our farms. We manage all of the normal day to day household operations and also farm.

IMG_3183I realized within the first 2 minutes of our chat that I was not alone. Here was another woman who was facing the same struggles that I face. How in the world do you get a decent meal on the table and homeschool the kids while still keeping up with the farm chores and customer calls? After all, isn’t clean healthy food the reason we farm in the first place?

How do you show support to your husband who is working just as hard as you? How do you manage to find some time to take just for yourself? What is time to yourself? Is that important?

IMG_3306I’m writing this from Jackson, Mississippi at the Stockman Grass Farmer Marketing school. I have had the privilege of being one of the teachers here for the last 6 years. Yesterday during lunch, I was again privileged to sit with another farm wife who also struggles with the same “how do we manage it ALL” mentality. It occurred to me in talking to these women here at the conference that we all are faced with exactly the same issues.

Now, I know this is magnified, because let’s face it, we’re coming off the busy summer season and for most of us the season isn’t yet over – yes, we still have Turkey season to go.

I made the comment to Adele and to a couple of the ladies here yesterday, “Wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to sit down with other farm wives and talk to them about how they manage their time?”

Just in talking to these two gals, I have already learned some things that I’m planning to incorporate into my daily routines to help ease things a little. And I was amazed to learn that what I had to share was helpful to them.

So over the course of the next little while (I’m certainly not going to promise regularly scheduled posts, ok?) I would love for all of us women to have a virtual chat. Let’s talk about menu planning, homeschooling, raising kids, supporting our husbands, dealing with customers, cleaning house, Time management, vacations, taking time for us and all of the other crazy things in life that deep down we LOVE and couldn’t imagine life without.

Brutal honesty. No judging allowed.

So for today, let’s start with this:

Tell us a little about yourself and what role you play on our farm. Please try not to hyperventilate when you start listing it all out. The rest of us girls have got your back. Okay?

What is something that you would like to see changed?

If you don’t know, just give us the idea. For instance, I’ve been way too busy this year and to be brutally honest, if every year is going to be this hard, I’m ready to quit. No it’s not been a bad year. No, there was nothing tragic. I’m almost embarrassed to admit, because I know many out there who have had some major health concerns or lost loved ones this year. It has just been one of those years where…

Let’s see, how can I explain it?

Well, I have a list of things to get done everyday and if I don’t plan my day and run it “just so” not everything that I needed to get done that day will get done. And nothing on the list is optional for another day.

 

A photo posted by Sheri Salatin (@sherisalatin) on


I haven’t had any time to “waste”. Does this make sense? Not that I make a habit of wasting time, but I do like to sit down for 5-15 minutes every once in a while and just enjoy the fact that I crossed something off the list. It just occurred to me last week, that I haven’t even been reveling in getting something accomplished. Just moving onto the next thing.

But another farm wife told me that I needed to stop and take just a minute to smile at thought of getting something accomplished. Awesome idea. It’s been too insane for me to think about such a thing.

Okay, enough about me, I want to hear from all my other farm chicks out there.

What are you facing right now?

Please leave a comment and please take a moment to encourage other farm wives who leave comments.

Let’s join together and if we can be together in person, let’s come together in spirit!

Happy Friday!

P.S. My appearance of having it all together can be seen on my Instagram feed.

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About Sheri Salatin

Sheri is married to Daniel Salatin. She is the marketing director at Polyface Farm and stay-at-home mom of three children. Sheri is passionate about clean food and is enjoying working the land along side her husband. When not farming, Sheri can be found reading, writing, sewing, baking and serving in her church family.
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43 Responses to [Farm Wife Friday] A Farm Table Discussion

  1. Beth says:

    Thank you so much for writing this! In the past year my husband and I have started a small farm and I quit my ” regular job” to stay home with our boys and help run things. I do NOT regret our decisions at all but there are definitely tough days that feel like I’m just not good enough to get everything done. It’s so heartening to know there are other women out there with over-flowing sinks, piles of vegetables, big to-do lists and even bigger dreams.

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      Hi Beth,
      Why is it that we base our worth on how much we get accomplished? I do it too sometimes! Hang in there. Let’s start seeing what things we could incorporate to help ease our days!
      Hugs

  2. My Name is Katie Coughlin and my husband and I run Farm 58 in Eastern Tennesee. We have 1 daughter, Jordyn who is 3. Our Farm also runs and houses a men’s Dicipleship ministry, so we have 20 men who live on property and work with us throughout the year.

    My role is social media marketing and customer orders. The seasons are very busy not only with farm chores, markets and CSA members but with investing in the men and their families. Many times I can feel like a single mom during the season or like I am failing at being a great wife, home maker, mom because I am always just trying to keep my head above water. My husband is so sweet and tells me how wonderful of a job I am doing. But I wish I could have set times for accomplishing it all without feeling guilty the whole time that I should give my daughter more attention. Ok that is my heart on a plate. Thanks for being honest and transparent Sheri!

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      Hi Katie,
      Yes indeed! It’s sink or swim some days isn’t it? I’m excited to hear ideas from all on ways to save time and how to plan things to get everything done. Or perhaps prioritize better. We can do this! You can do this!
      Hugs.

  3. Anna Atkinson says:

    I’m Anna–my husband and I have a small farm that we’re running mostly to try to grow *all* our own food . . . primarily because that’s all we have time for! we feel really privileged to do this, but in order to pay for the farm we’re both working 50 hour weeks. My husband does the building and runs any little machines we happen to have (which amount to a couple of pumps and a lawn tractor!), and I grow all the food. With the cost of land where we are, there just isn’t another way to do it–although the end of the mortgage is within sight (just as hubby retires). I would have been happy to go somewhere else, but his grown sons are here, so he really feels anchored to place and I totally support that.

    But I really do hear you, Sheri, when you talk about lists and lists and lists of things to do, and not having time to even celebrate when you finish a chore because there are two dozen more, and none of them can be put off! Even without kids, this is a tough gig. Particularly if you’re active in your community! We joined a little rural church four years ago, and it’s a real joy to be with those people . . .

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      Hi Anna,
      Wow, I couldn’t imagine working off farm and managing a farm at the same time! Kudos, girl! Yes, I love my church family too and couldn’t imagine life without them. Thank you for sharing. Hugs!

  4. Bethany says:

    My husband and I have a small farm in Northern MN. We raise feeder pigs, chickens, cattle and have a large garden. We have been here 3 years and had no real farming experience before this. My husband works a job in town and I am home with our 5 year old and almost 2 year old and expecting a third in April. At times it is all overwhelming. Especially as I was trying to get as much of the garden put by for winter this year as I could. I struggle with feeling like I don’t do enough with the girls when I am doing chores, putting food by, and cooking. In the summer and early fall my house looks like some kind of frat house but with more kids toys and less beer. It is embarrassing when guests stop by, but I can only do so much. I think the girls would prefer if I fed them boxed mac and cheese and frozen pizzas for every meal and spent my time playing with them. But, honestly, I don’t want to do either. I love my children and quality time together, but I feel better at the end of the day if I feel like something got done even if there is always ten times more that needs to be done yesterday. How do you other mamas balance kid time and work time? Do you feel guilty too?

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      Hi Bethany,
      The balance act of family and farm is a very real struggle. It’s certainly something that re-evaluate often. Push and pull. Congratulations on your upcoming little one! That’s really exciting! The third baby really changed my world! Hugs.

    • olivia says:

      Bethany Baby girl, i come from an unbroken line of farm women and my Grandma says the way to get work done with kids is to find a way to occupy as many of them as you can for as long as it takes to get a task done by wearing 1 of them in a wrap, finding something they are obsessed with but only letting them have it when you need them to be occupied, involve them in your work as much as you can like giving them their own bucket and trowel to dig with, take a short breaks to focus on them only and reassure them that even though they can’t always have your full attention they can get it when they need it, keep your promises to do x or y or z activity as much as you can so that when you ask them to be patient and wait they will cause they know that are eventually gonna get what was promised, also i find if you can get the kids to snuggle up with each other or their dad you can wake up extra early or stay up extra late and get things done, last but not least see if you can get a momma’s helper to come over and baby sit if only for a couple hours here and their at super busy times. i hope at least one of these hints help and afterall when all the kids get older they’ll be able to watch each other and entertain themselves better.

    • Gail Colangelo says:

      Being organized and having a staged house is nice to look at however, its not my reality. I think as my farm as my legacy for my husband and children. Whether, a paddock, garage or a living room gets attended to doesn’t matter just that it gets done when necessary. Each day can present a new set of priorities as it unveils. Fluid and reasonable priorities and expectations help me keep my sanity. My greatest priority is that my children, husband and animals all rest easily and seize each day ready to contribute.

    • Melanie says:

      I think that the only way to balance ‘kid time’ and chore time, is to incorporate the kids in the chores – yes, it makes the chores a little slower in the beginning, but in the end you have well trained, hard workers that like to get their hands dirty and take on some of those chores. I now have a 12 yr old who does all the chicken chores and all of the kids love to plant seeds and work in the garden. My son (9) loves to build stuff and will fix a garden box or the chicken coop door or whatever needs a screw. Working together and making it fun will pay dividends in the end πŸ™‚

  5. Paula says:

    I’m Paula and my husband and I have a small Dairy. We have no hired help so my days start early and end late. I can appreciate all of your comments. I sometimes get so overwhelmed trying to get everything done. Even taking the time to read this page makes me feel guilty. There is always another task waiting for me.

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      Hi Paula,
      I sometimes forget that taking a few minutes out of my day for me is just as important as returning a phone call or feeding the chickens. Hang in there! I hope we can all come up with some great tips for easing stress and over-work. Hugs

  6. Kristin Pike says:

    It’s crazy! That’s for sure! I look forward to reading all the comments when I have more time. πŸ˜‰ For me, the most helpful thing I’ve started doing in the last year is getting up early to exercise (by myself!! My introverted side really needs that alone time!) before the crazy day starts. Definitely been a game changer for me. πŸ™‚

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      Kristin!! I miss you, girl! What a great idea! Right now I’m hoarding my sleep, but this is something that I should really consider doing. Thank you so much for sharing! πŸ™‚ hugs and love

  7. Rebekah says:

    I quit my job 6 months ago (to the day!) to stay home with my 3 year old and 1 year old daughters and try to start homesteading. I have zero farming background, but my hubby grew up in rural VA around farms his whole life. He works long hours in town so I mostly try to figure it out. It has been a learning experience for sure! We have another one on the way now so I feel like just as I was getting down a routine and system things are beginning to change again. Being in Florida gardening season is in full swing and I’m a horrible gardener. But I’m trying. We have rabbits and pigs and hope to get dairy goats soon. I’m over having the pigs though. Both girls have been bit and they are getting too big for me to handle alone. I feel like my girls are behind academically, but who ha time to focus on the abc’s with everything else? They are very good at playing together though (with the usual squabbles) and will spend my entire dinner prep time playing together or in the kitchen helping me. I want to keep them involved socially, but when I’ve tried to do playdates we fall behind at home or we end up sick and fall farther behind. Church may be the only place that they can get the social time, which is a great place, no complaints! I struggle to find time for me. Since the 3 year old gave up naps I have no me time at all. So that’s where we are. Growing up I never wanted to be a stay at home mom or live on a farm, but I do love it all despite the challenges, or maybe because of them. Funny how God has a plan for your life you may have never expected!

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      Congratulations on being a full time farmwife mommy, Rebekah! Yes indeed, school can be a real struggle. I hope to be able to share some things that helped me in the next couple of weeks and I know that there are several farm wives who should have some helpful advice for us. Stay tuned! Hugs

    • Brandy says:

      Rebekah, your post really touched my heart and I could really relate! I had no farming experience (or the desire to gain any for that matter) when we started doing this roughly 8 years ago. It was my husband’s dream and passion and I was more than happy to support him in his pursuit of that, but I wanted to be a cheerleader not a team player. Well, long story short, the Lord had other plans for me. He wanted me to partner with my husband and do this thing together. It took me several years to see what He was trying to do. I can now honestly say that I love this lifestyle that I oh so reluctantly entered in to. It was a long spiritual journey to get to a place where I could say that. I see what a blessing it is. My husband was able to leave his career job and the farm is now our full time occupation. Easy it certainly is not, but we are together every single day and that is priceless. When we started, our children were 5 and 2 and I know what a challenge it is to have chores to do with little ones in tow. I know that the days are long, exhausting and it’s so hard to find a balance. Do what you can do and don’t beat yourself up at the end of the day over what you didn’t get done. I just want to encourage you to hang in there. Hugs to you!!

  8. Megan Volmer says:

    I am Megan, wife to retired Marine, homeschooling mother to six aged 3-15 and dairy goat farmer. It is nice to know I am not the only one struggling. We have a very small farm-ette, but goats have to be milked and cheese has to be made. My husband is recovering from back surgery so has not been able to help for a few months. I love the farm stuff and feel like living seasonally balances our life. We only sell a little milk, eggs and cheese, but would like to sell more (as pet food of course, I live in NC) This summer I read a chapter in a book called Lies Women Believe and one lie was that We don’t have time to do what we need to do. We all have the same 24 hours in a day and we have time to do all God has called use to do. That helped me really access my priorities. I still struggle with having “down’ time. Looking forward to reading the rest of these. This year I have been getting up early to have a quiet time before I wake everyone. It is a time I treasure and it does make me feel like I have a bit of time alone.

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      Hi Megan,
      Thank you for stopping by and sharing. That book sounds very interesting. I’ll have to look it up. Did it give suggestions on how to manage your time to finish things? Or how to prioritize? That would be helpful. Hugs

    • Amy says:

      I also read a book this year entitled “Born Again Dirt Farmer-Farming to the Glory of God” by Noah Sanders and the Lord used it to hit me right between the eyes. Ponder this: I often find myself stressed or frantic to finish a list. God has promised me the resources to complete whatever work he has given me. If I’m stressed that there are not enough hours in the day, then I have something on that list that God has not called me to do today. Sometimes thats not head knowledge but heart knowledge. I’ve had to chew on that one for awhile……

  9. Brandy says:

    I’m Brandy. My husband and I have a farm in Indiana. We raise pastured poultry, pork, and grass fed beef. This is our full time occupation and we also homeschool our two boys. What an encouragement to read your post! I’ve been feeling this same need for farmer’s wives and farm girls to support and encourage each other. We recently hosted a workshop on our farm and it was very evident to me from conversations that I had that we need to band together and build each other up. Being a wife and a mother is hard enough and then you throw the unexpectedness of farming into the mix and boy can things get overwhelming fast! Thank you for your transparency!

    Something that has helped me not feel so overwhelmed is just remembering that my husband and I are in this together and I am called to be a help to him. It’s just us, so when he needs help, I have to be there. Everything always shakes out in the end…God is good that way. I just have to remind myself of that when I’m interrupted in the middle of my own task. That is a continual struggle for me as I am a very task oriented person. I think the continual struggle for me is just to find some sort of balance. The to do list is long and the hours seem short.

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      Thank you, Brandy. Yes, remembering the why behind what we are doing is so important! Thank you so much for sharing that! I am task oriented too and also trying to learn that interruptions are a good thing.
      I hope you’ll come back and share more as we start getting together virtually with other farmwives around the world. Hugs

  10. farmgyrl says:

    Just getting in from finishing up the chores it is 9 pm Pacific time, my husband and I run Double Dart farm in Washington state he has been raising pigs for the last 18 years , we had chickens and a few other random animals until the past few years when I decided to expand into dairy goats , fibre goats and heritage turkeys and ducks. That and finally getting all of the property laid out and fenced and the gardens started. I just covered the last of the to green beans with a cloke as we are going to get cold tonight and my beets and swiss chard will keep going after I finish picking in the next few days. The garlic is in and I still have a rogue turkey to get into the run. I am a disabled Iraq veteran and I am going back to school full time while taking care of the 3 year old grandson several days a week and running a full time farm. We are taking care of life and now we are entering the time where our parents are needing more help as I am entering into a new profession after being an electrician for many years. I am so overwhelmed some days that the list never quite gets finished but just rolls over to the next day. if the weather clears and there is no rain it might be time for feed run or hay. Thanks for sharing I am off to do the dinner dishes.Blessings and peace

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      Hi farmgyrl, first I want to say thank you for your military service to our country. I have a huge respect for the men and women who serve. So thank you.
      It sounds like you have already come through the little children stage in life and can offer the rest of us some great tips of wisdom! Looking forward to hearing more from you in the coming weeks. Hugs

  11. Meg says:

    Greetings from TN! It is reassuring to hear other farm gals feel as pressed for time each day! We started our farm four years ago to have control over the quality of the food we eat. I’m retired from my career but as a farm gal, I have never worked so hard in my life! We raise poultry ( laying hens, pastured broilers, guineas, geese), cows and a large garden. My husband travels for his job so I run the farm solo half of the time. My Monday list of to-do’s usually takes until Thursday or Friday to complete, if then. I’m looking forward to learning tricks of the trade/shortcuts from other farm gals out there!

  12. Annie says:

    I’m Annie and this post is spot on. My husband and I have a rule – we make NO future farming decisions in October and November. We are just too tired and worn out from the summer season to think clearly. Here in central ND, winter forces a sabbatical of sorts. We still have Buying Club, Freezer Club, and catering, but the rush of many outside chores and responsibilities have lessened considerably. We also homeschool our kids (7, 6, and almost 5) and much of their “deskwork” happens in the colder months. We can’t do it all. This fall we partnered with another farm on our Buying Club – I manage the marketing, they manage packing orders and delivery. It has taken a huge load off my shoulders to do everything and allows me to focus on what I enjoy.

    • Amanda says:

      I love that rule! Think we might have to adopt that one.

    • Rebekah says:

      Before I quit my job we used to watch Alaska the Last Frontier and we determined that our hot Florida summer would be the equivalent of northerners’ winters. I love that you call it a sabbatical. Spot on. But I quit in May, so summer was a busy season! The new babe is due next May, so that should force some needed rest time for us all next year. I hope. No fencing in July ever again! As it is it was 80 degrees today. I’m just enjoying the warm weather until our 3 weeks of freezing temps finally show up.

  13. Amanda says:

    Amanda here. My husband, 3 little ones, and I officially started our farmstead this year in N. California – where we raise chickens, turkeys, pigs, sheep, and rabbits, and try to keep our garden going as much as possible. I feel so blessed to live this crazy farm life, but sometimes I look around and ask myself if we have completely lost our marbles. When the Lord brought the opportunity to purchase our property, we jumped on it so thankfully. We had been praying for an opportunity to homestead and start farming on a larger, market scale. However, the land is wild and untamed, heavily wooded and mostly unfenced, with no infrastructure and a very old house in need of 80% renovation. So what did we do? Started renovating the house, moved in when only 2 rooms were done, and started farming to pay the bills! What?! Oh my goodness, that sounds even crazier when put into print. πŸ™‚ I am currently working my graveyard shift at my off-farm job as an ER veterinarian, a job that began as a passion, but one which the industry has manipulated so terribly that it is really just a job at this point. I am so thankful for the time I have at home with my husband and children, but I can certainly relate to the comments above regarding the small amount of time available to fully dedicate to the kids. Our family time must spring out of our work time, and they must be kept involved in everything from chores to building projects, in order to keep them engaged and feeling important. I was raised on a farm, and while I sometimes feel guilty for working so much on the farm – most of my fondest childhood memories are of working alongside my dad. I hope that same value translates to my children.

  14. Rebecca says:

    Blood, sweat, tears….rinse and repeat. Whether it is running a household, parenting, homeschooling, or farming, life is big, loud, and messy. On top of that is the looming guilt and mental tornadoes that threaten to tear us apart.

    Throughout all of these areas I find refuge in attempting to cling to God’s beautiful ability to walk me through the day in His will with His abundant provision. I am trying desperately to see the beauty of each moment without drowning in fear of the future. Most of the time that plays out as a quick glance at the sunrise while dodging a flying hoof and trying to smile through the grimace of pain from hand cramps as I milk…oh, well…

    I find more and more often small joys, momentary refreshment, encouragement and strength hidden in the muck and mud of everyday life. I am beginning to think that vision is the key. Joy and pain are always together. Maybe survival depends on learning to focus.

  15. Thanks for sharing these little bits of thought that allow us to have a glimpse on this alternative way of life. Best of luck!

  16. amanda kolke hillman says:

    I love this post, I’m just now seeing it on the 21st of November because I literally run the farm. The hubby works/travels so most of the farm/homeschooling/house mangement fall on me. He dives in when he gets home. But say… the bull gets out, we’ll that’s to me to saddle up a horse and go get him and then figure out how he got out and fix that! Through all of this I’m proud to say there isn’t much I can’t handle these days. Not saying I’m not ever exhausted or have moments where grace leaves me, but it’s so much better than living in the city eating food from the mass production lines! Thank you for sharing.

  17. I salute you farmwives!

    I am merely wading into the “home gardening/homesteading” pool. Ankle deep and already dazed and confused some days!

    I am proud that I now recognize a cabbage worm (they wrecked my kale last year) and this year got over the “ick” factor and plucked them off without gloves. We’ve eaten some things out of the garden, I have about half a ziploc bag of tomatoes that I dehydrated from the garden. My kitchen isn’t often “photo ready” either, but some good food comes out of it.

    However I am proud to support Polyface (and other local farms) by purchasing products and spreading the word… in fact I will put a Polyface turkey on the table this Thursday. I’ll send you a pic!

    In the meantime, I’m happy with my dirty work boots and my little raised bed garden.

  18. Bee says:

    Ladies, as someone on the other end of the continuum (retired registered nurse and freelance writer on a 185-acre northern California ranch where we raise grass-fed beef, lamb and pork; 66-year-old mother of one, grandmother of three; ranch wife for most of my adult life; hubby had three back surgeries and is very limited in what he can do), may I offer both some perspective and suggestions?
    1. You never get it all done. The last time my to-do list was current was before my 36-year-old daughter was born! At one time I was the only adult in the household for six months at a stretch because my husband worked at the South Pole half the year. We had a stallion, our own mare and 24 leased mares (hubby was gone during breeding season, so I did all the breeding), I was working full-time in nursing and my daughter was six years old. We also had pigs and chickens and a big garden plus fruit trees.That was the year the well pump went out and both vehicles died at the same time.
    2. Don’t beat yourself up when you can’t get caught up, because you never get it all done.
    3. Operate on the principle that what’s alive takes precedence over what’s not alive. That means people, animals and the garden take precedence over housework. Name the spiders on the cobwebs in the corners and rejoice that they’re helping keep down the house mosquito population!
    4. You come first. I know, we’re indoctrinated to think everybody else comes first. Thing is, if we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t take care of anybody else.
    5. One of the most important things you can do is make sure you get enough sleep. It’s tempting to think we can get more done by going short on shuteye, but the reality is what you do is short-circuit your brain’s ability to function and your overall health.
    6. Set your own goals and ignore what anyone else says you “should” be doing. This is a toughie, because we want to be liked and approved, but we wind up contorting ourselves into pretzels to meet other people’s expectations. If someone criticizes, smile and say, “Thank you for sharing your perspective.” Then go do it your way.
    7. You can have it all — but you can’t have it all at the same time. When the kids are little, something has to give (In my case, that was usually housework). Despite the happy-face articles and downright lies you read in the media, it’s very, very rare for a woman to be able to have a great marriage, high-powered career/perfect farm, spotless house and polite, obedient, high-achieving kids.
    8. Perfectionism has made more women suicidal than anything except the male of the species. “Good enough” almost always really is just that; there’s plenty of tolerance in the natural system.
    9. Never stop looking for ways to make your life easier (I’m fond of saying that I’m efficient because I’m lazy). For example, your garden will do just fine if you don’t double dig. You don’t have to to turn a compost pile, compost will make itself — just takes a little longer. You can milk a cow once a day; the extra production is actually mostly water. Some years back, I read a little book called “Speed Cleaning,” which gave me a system that allowed me to clean a two-bedroom ranch house in one hour of concentrated effort each week.
    10. Yes, I know it screws up your schedule, but take time to smell the roses, savor the flavors, laugh at the antics of baby pigs and lambs, and teach the kids about life — that’s the important stuff.

  19. wendy says:

    I’m Wendy, mother of 13, homeschooling 10 and running the house and small wanna be farm. We only have 11 acres. I purchased every book I could afford about farming small parcels of land. I built my first chicken tractor last summer. Its beautiful. Now I wish I had made it winter worthy. Next summer maybe? I bought a barn full of lumber from an auction in October and it took me 2 weeks to get it all home. For $250+ it was a steel. My days are so full most times I don’t even know where to begin. I just figure if we got the animals fed and learned at least 1 new thing we are doing good. If we eat dinner before 9pm and the kids are in bed before midnight I feel good. Life is super crazy here.
    Today I sold my first goat! I’m so happy! I don’t think I made any money but at least that darn thing is gone. I can focus on the lamb and turn her into many sheep eventually.
    I’m trying to hold off buying more chickens. Once my cow dries up we will be making a B line for Polyface Farms to learn what we couldn’t from the books.
    Love what you are doing!

  20. anu says:

    I loved this post. Keep Posting

  21. Jenni says:

    Hi! It is just before Christmas and I really enjoyed reading these posts. My husband and I are starting our business with pastured poultry and moving into pigs this winter. My husband works outside the home to keep the insurance and the income since we aren’t making much just starting. So the usual house/chores/responsibilities are on me with our two small very energetic boys and homeschooling them. I am not sure if there would be an ability to get a questionnaire going so we could get an idea of some tricks that everyone does to make their day go smoother? Mainly pertaining to pastured poultry right now, if possible thanks otherwise it was enjoyable and comforting reading everyone’s posts!

  22. Jeane says:

    Good morning! As most of you farm wives, up early to begin my day as the animals are calling. My husband and I are “starting our lives over”. We organically farmed, homeschooled and raised three wonderful children (now adults) in our “former life” and moved into partial retirement. Then came our precious grandson, Elliott. He is special needs and because his mother is a full time attorney, we moved into a multigenerational home in south east Indiana to be a huge part of his support team. We have now started over with more land, a large organic garden, fruits and raising chickens and turkeys. We plan to expand with other animals in time. Nice to have this “support group” as at times it is a bit overwhelming picking back up on all the work.

  23. Chris says:

    I read ‘The Egg and I” when I was 12. If you’ve never read it, it’s a hoot. You’d love it. It’s the story of a gal who falls in love with a man who wants to open a chicken farm..( just use your imagination!) Around that time I also lived next to a farm on Long Island’s north shore. (Which used to be wall to wall pumpkin & veggie farms up through the 60’s.. till industry moved in and little by little paved over all of it). That book has stayed with me a lifetime. The story made me fall in love with the idea of falling in love with a farmer.. Life got in the way and I wound up in the suburbs. ( :>{ ) That’s over and I’m back to dreaming about the farm. Would y’all pray for me to meet a man who loves horses and chickens? He’ll be a healthy 55 – 65 year old.. and love God! Thanks. :>)

  24. Janelle says:

    Hi I’m Janelle
    Try “Fly lady” for life/household organization. If you need serious all encompassing organization, then look at “Getting Things Done” by David Allen. You could also blend the two. Keep living the dream…

  25. Pingback: [Farm Wife Friday] Let’s talk about Organizing | Polyface Hen House