How Homesteaders Can Vacation

| 4/19/2017 9:15:00 AM

Tags: Dutch belted cows, Narragansett turkeys, Mary Lou Shaw, Ohio,

If people who have only houseplants or a dog find it difficult to get away because of those responsibilities, then it’s no wonder that we homesteaders may consider vacations near-impossible. Because vacations are important for our mental health and the health of our relationships, I’d like to share how my husband and I arrange worry-free time away from our farm and animals.

miniature donkey

Community is key: Our homestead consists of a large garden, orchard, bees, chickens, turkeys, miniature donkeys and milk cows. This probably explains why we went several years without a vacation! It’s true that we haven’t found the “perfect match” for one person to handle our farm. If someone had that expertise, they would probably be too busy with their own farm. On the other hand, we haven’t found it necessary to be part of a commune in order to have people help us out so we can get away.

Currently, there are two friends who handle different aspects of our homestead so we can vacation. The one, who is four miles away from us, also has chickens. This allows us to care for her animals twice-a-day when she is gone, and she returns the favor by caring for our smaller animals. The other is a close-by neighbor who has beef cows. We’re in the habit of helping each other out when a pregnant cow needs watching or it’s time to make hay. Therefore, we find it easy to keep an eye on each others’ cows when one family is gone on vacation.

Timing is important: Fortunately for us, we prefer taking vacation off-season when hiking trails are less crowded. That schedule is perfect for having our homestead easier to manage. By mid-October in Ohio, the garden harvest is complete and the bees tucked in for winter. Baby chicks and turkey poults have matured enough to live in the poultry houses.

chickens  pumpkin

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