Lessons Learned from Childhood on a Farm

| 12/7/2015 10:45:00 AM

Tags: young farmers, homestead inspiration, raising livestock, Alabama, Fala Burnette,


I spent a good majority of my life on my grandmother's 40-acre farm. An old plantation home still stood there, and one of my fondest memories is sitting in there at the kitchen table and hearing my grandmother say grace before eating breakfast.

There were always goats there to milk, chickens to give eggs, fruit trees, and a garden that all served an important purpose when it came to providing for us. But one of the things that the farm also provided is not tangible: It is the personal experience and knowledge that I could only have gained by spending my childhood at the farm.

My grandmother was known as a firm, yet loving soul, who provided for her family through the work of her hands and the sweat of her brow. I admired her, but at the same time, I respected her. She taught me what it meant to reap the rewards of something you put your full time and effort into, because only giving half your effort would lead to consequences!

As an example, her goats were always kept in a pen surrounded by electrical fencing. If you turned the fence off to go in and feed them, but did not double-check to make sure you turned it back on, you would spend hours trying to chase them back in later!

Another important lesson learned was tender care for the animals and crops she raised, because they were vital to feeding us all. Neglecting to cover up plants during a frost could kill them, which meant a loss of good vegetables on the table. Failure to keep water troughs clean could lead to a sick animal, which meant losing your meat, milk, and egg producers. Farm life required putting forth full effort — it takes time to make sure you provide for the plants and animals that provide for you.

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