So far nothing about farm life has been laid back. Like most neophytes we started watching YouTube videos that make everything look really easy. None of it is really easy! It’s really entertaining, frustrating, infuriating and thrilling in turns, but never easy. Don’t let that stop you if you’re thinking of doing this farm thing, I wouldn’t trade it for anything else we’ve tried, just be aware.
We’ve always had some sort of garden. We grew fabulous watermelons in a communal garden while stationed at Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio. I am assuming they were fabulous because someone stole them before we got to eat any, but they looked great! I may still be a little bitter about that. We grew basil and parsley in Schinnen, The Netherlands, in our tiny 6’ X 10’ walled garden and actually got to eat both. Miesau, Germany; Bonaire, Georgia; even La Marsa, Tunisia; we grew something! Okay we failed miserably to grow anything in Minot North Dakota, but I don’t really count that. I mean, it was Minot North Dakota!!! We loved that assignment, best kept secret in the Air Force, but we couldn’t grow anything in the two weeks they call summer.
Here on the farm we haven’t had a garden yet. It’s embarrassing. We tried three different spots before having the soil tested. Hint for newbies like us, test your soil right away. We are lucky to be close to the University of Central Missouri which helped us. Contact the closest county extension or buy a soil test kit and save yourself some time. The best area for a garden on our farm has horrible soil so we’ve been working to build it up for a couple of years now. This year we think we have a good foundation and plan to bring in topsoil and plant food! Real food like green beans and tomatoes that taste like tomatoes. Fingers crossed.
Most people believe dirty words have four letters. That’s not always true on the farm. Take fence, for example. Five letters. Say “fence” anywhere near me and I cringe, shrink away in horror and might cry. Hint for newbies, start with the fence before anything else. Before you get cows that want to stand in the middle of a busy road and are able to stand in the middle of the busy road because your fence is useless: fix your fence. Don’t ask, “why would the cows crawl through the saggy barbed wire when there is good grass here?”, just accept that the cows will go into the road and fix the fence before you get any cows. Or sheep. Or dogs. Trust me on this. Unless you enjoy being yelled at by drivers, cursed at by your neighbors and having to chase said cows in your pajamas. Oh, yes I did, more than once. Charles will have a lot to say about “fence” (pardon my French), in his posts and it will all be really good, useful information. He might even have a line or two about what not to say when your spouse calls you at your day job because the cows, et al, had to be pajama chased. Pay attention to that part because he got really good at it before we fixed all 40 acres of fence.
We do thank God daily that we get to live out here in the middle of the middle of Missouri. We’re thankful for the successes and grudgingly grateful for the lessons He is teaching us. Hint for newbies, pray without ceasing! Trust me on this…
So John Denver didn’t totally lie. He did get the early to rise part right. Ugh.