Homesteading and Livestock

Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.

Add to My MSN


7/26/2012 2:19:08 PM

Tags: drought, farming, missouri, irrigation, crop insurance, climate change, Farm Aid and

 I quit., not really, although I truly wanted to over, and over again.

As you can imagine, going out of town or on vacation is no easy feat for farmers with crops or livestock.  We can't exactly kennel a flock of chickens, and relying on a neighbor to water our fields is a helluva lot different than asking them to just tend to a couple house plants.  I know many farmers who wait to schedule trips until the wintertime, when life on a farm is significantly less busy.  However, sometimes vacations can't wait.

Justin and his family recently traveled out of town to visit other relatives for a whopping five days, leaving me (and a couple saintly interns) in charge of the survival of our plants and animals.  And holy hell, was it exhausting.Chores 

Worrying about keeping up with Justin's chores while trying to maintain my 8-5 day job was a losing battle.  A half day off here and there turned into complete days off from work at the office, while I recuperated from possible heat stroke and tried coping with my new (albeit temporary) sunup to sundown lifestyle.  One night, for example, I was working outside until well after 11pm, harvesting and washing produce, only to wake the next morning at 4am to tend to the animals and get our CSA shares ready for the day.

To top it all off, nearly each day Justin was gone, there was some sort of drama at the farm:  kids with rifles trespassing claiming they were hunting squirrels, broken chicken tractors that required repair to keep them predator-proof, giant gashes in our water hose that needed to be mended.   A new day, a new ordeal.

Combine everything above with a sweltering heat wave, and it made the difficulty of even the most mundane task completely unbearable.

When Justin finally returned from his trip and I showered him with praise, having established a new appreciation for the tremendous hard work he does each and every day, rain or shine.

With him back in town, and our routines back to normal, merely living my life feels like a vacation.DanielleYellowTree 

“I’m half of YellowTree Farm, an urban homestead that I founded with my husband in late 2008.  Together, we grow vegetables and raise animals on less than 1/10 of an acre in St. Louis, Missouri.  I don’t have children.  I have animals, which is kind of the same thing as being a parent, except I eat my babies.” 


Related Content

HOMEGROWN Life: The Farmer's Truth About Keeping Goats

So, yes, I have become a lover of goats (and ducks have won me over, too). But the truth is, I can’t...

Hoping for Prettier Sweet Potatoes

Cam describes the method he used when planting his sweet potatoes this year with hopes that he'll en...

Girl out of Water - Oh This Heat!

Watering 800 berry plants and 300 peach trees is essential in this oppressive heat!

All Wet

Beware. I’m stepping up on the soapbox for a minute.

Content Tools

Post a comment below.


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.