HOMEGROWN Life: I Quit

Reader Contribution by Farm Aid And Homegrown.Org
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I quit.

…no, 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.


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.

“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.”