Saturday, November 27, 2010

It takes a family. . .

Raising animals and raising gardens are no easy tasks. It takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of muscle. It takes everyone's help from the oldest to the youngest. Even the youngest child can fill the dog food, gather the eggs, or be taught to pick a few berries. Some tasks can be delegated to one person. Others, like baling hay or picking strawberries, are best done in a group effort.

In the years that we have lived here there is no doubt who did the most farm work. Dad was the farmer. It was his full time task even when he worked elsewhere. Without him here we've had to make a lot of adjustments. We've had to fill boots none of us were ready to fill.

We've downsized our livestock quite a bit, but even so there still is a lot to get done. Everyone has had to step it up, do a little more, and push the boundaries of our comfort zones. We are all doing more than we did before the events of this past summer.

I have been especially proud and surprised at how the two twelve year old boys have taken on responsibilities here. They are doing man sized jobs often alone. Kellen has been a huge help with feeding animals. He has learned to check fluids and tire pressure for the vehicles, and has just been a general all around huge help to Mamaw and me.

He and his cousin, Miles, have become quite proficient at electric fencing. They tore down the temporary fencing around the hay fields, and have also built quite a bit of fencing for the cows and pigs. Of course, we have our suspicions that they are eager to help with just about any job that involves driving the four wheeler.

Animals and gardens are a lot of work, but the rewards are worth all the effort. When we all pitch in it makes the load lighter and the tasks more enjoyable. After all, it takes a family to run the farm.


  1. so glad you have willing, helpful and energetic kids! what a blessing.

  2. What an amazing family you have. Through your loss and how you've drawn together to accomplish all that you do, everyday, is encouraging to this wannabe farm girl and my family.
    your boys are learning so much more than farm work. To me they're learning what makes a family work.
    What a wonderful life lesson.

    What an amazing life lesson.

  3. Hey, I'm a grown man and I'm a lot more likely to do any job involving a four wheeler. At least you have a list of (4-wheeler) jobs that you know you can find someone to do quickly!

    City Roots, Country Life