A few examples.....Shopping: Where do you buy farm related supplies and feed for your animals? I try to go to Orschlens because it is close to my house and the people that work there are very helpful and will even help me out to the car. But they do not carry some of the brands of feed I need. So my search went on all over our closest big town and I have to sometimes go to the more expensive and less friendly Tractor Supply. I'm sure it's a hoot to see me pursuing the aisles of this place (although they do carry cute boots, some blingin belts and even pink feed buckets.....the world is getting the hint girlz!) but the real amusing part is when I hit the parking lot. It all begins with my cart full of 3-4 50 lb bags of feed and little 'ole me and at least one child in tow. As you leave the store the only way out is down a ramp. Yep, a ramp.....that goes straight into a parking lot full of usually very nice diesel trucks....situated on one of the steepest hills on our main drag in Joe Town....you've got it; a declining parking lot. Now, I am getting better and figuring this all out and by now I have learned to park at the bottom of the hill/lot because that is where I'm gonna end up. Imagine me now, trying to look like the graceful gal I never have been, trying to keep a cart (on wheels ya know) with at least 150 lbs in it from rolling down a hill. Not pretty! Luckily I've never hit a car but I usually leave about in a fit of tears. I heard rumor that a sweet little spot closer to home carries the same feed and will load it for me...Oh happy day! I do hope it's true!
On to Gardening: Last year I read a fabulous book that has inspired me in so many areas. "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver is a book I reference over and over and it's a fun read all about her adventures on the farm. I highly recommend it. She eats off her farm or from her neighbors in her county for a full year. Wow!!! So we worked all spring to build the Big Garden as we call it. This garden has 28 raised beds in it. I'd add more if I could. I was under the misconception that I plant every seed or bulb in every packet. For example; in the onions sets I bought (3 different varieties; 1 in each bed) I planted the full bag. I have onions out the wahhzoo! (is that even a word?). However I planted the full seed packet of green beans into one bed and was able to can 6 pints and 1 quart. I had hoped for enough green beans for the winter not the week!!!!! Live & learn. Live & learn.
So as you can see I am a far cry from an expert on farming and I am daily learning how difficult it is to garden organically (I have nightmares about squashbugs) and how expensive it is (any idea how much a good sheep fence is or parts for the waterer or feed or tomato cages....oh my). But I do enjoy it! Daresay I LOVE it! I'm so thankful my husband puts up with all my whims and fancies and actually enjoys this hobby farm as much as I do. At the end of the day I'd rather be weeding the garden and stomping the squashbugs (another great mental image) or greeting the hens that run (or waddle or whatever it is that they do) towards me and follow me around the yard because they know I'll bring them a treat. And to see my boys climbing trees and helping Daddy build nesting boxes or searching for potatoes in the dirt....this is why I do it. Because it's in me. Somewhere deep down the girl I spent my junior and high school years trying to cover up with make up and name brand clothes and friends and phone calls....somewhere she's down there, emerging daily as I finally embrace who I am and what I love....a Funny Farm Girl.