This week we had the opportunity to attend a grazing school in our area. I just have to put out here in to internet land that the PA Grazing Lands Coalition as well as the NRCS have been an invaluable resource to us as we’ve ventured in to the world of being graziers. As we were at this workshop, there were times when I was so overwhelmed with how much we still have to learn, and yet being there in fellowship with other like-minded farmers– it put more wind in my sails. What a great group of people we have the privilege of spending time with!
It got me thinking…………….
Farming can be frustrating!! Learning what it means to be a farmer can be frustrating!! Working with your husband or wife every day can be REALLY frustrating!! Especially when it comes to having differing opinions on when to move the cows, which pasture to move them to next, etc.
But ya know what…….. we wouldn’t have it any other way. After leaving corporate America in April of this year and having lived in that environment from the moment I graduated– I’ll take the frustration of losing some hay due to rain or fixing fence at 10 o’clock at night any day. It just plain feels better.
This thought process was solidified even more for me today while Alfie and I were in the field with the kids checking on the condition of our pastures planning our strategy for the cows for the next two months before they head for harvesting.
The first thing we happened upon was a monarch. While it was sad that she appeared to be in her last days, it gave us the opportunity for the kids to be up close and personal with such beauty.
Next we went to check on the cows.
After that we went to check on the watering trough and happened upon some frogs hanging out in the water. Abby was braver than I am and decided she wanted to pet them. (blech!)
And finally, they hung out in the pasture with me as I moved some fence around. We have an area of one of our pastures that just gets to be a soupy, soggy mess. We’re hoping to address it more in the spring when we put our permanent water system in place, but until then we do our best to keep the cows out of the area when we know it’s going to rain or that it’s soft.
While I was moving fence, I hear Abby and Roman giggling up a storm. I look over, and there they are, splashing each other with water from the trough.
And just about that time……. Roman decides he’s thirsty and takes a drink. That boy…… so far in his 16 months of life, he’s eaten chicken feed, horse feed, alfalfa pellets, apple & oat horse treats, and has now taken a drink from a watering trough. I’m fairly certain he’s going to have a bionic immune system.
As I stood there watching the kids, I couldn’t help but think– this is the good life. No matter the frustration– the endless to do list, things that constantly need fixed on an old farm, the chores that get neglected at our home, etc. How fortunate are we to be able to watch the kids frolic in nature, and work with nature, and watch how nature works together and the end result be that we feed our family and other families as well.
I hope our kids will one day look back and smile, and appreciate the childhood they’re living. Not every kids gets to be ::this close:: to a cow, or hug a chicken, or collect eggs to take back to the house for breakfast. Simplicity…… the good life.