A Life Skill that Comes Free with Farming

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Farming can be a foreign thing that people understand leads to food being at a grocery store, but mostly they’ve only ever seen a chicken served on styrofoam and wrapped in plastic.

Farming can be a curiosity. Something that people stop by once a decade to poke around and marvel at.

Farming can be a hobby. A tidy garden and chicken coop in the backyard or a small couple-of-acres farm outside of the city as a private paradise and retreat.

Farming can be home. The way the land stretches out before you covered in potential. The way the chickens cluck and the rooster calls (and not just in the morning!). The smell of horses or goats or cows on the wind. Watching the kids cheer an ewe giving birth or a chick trying to chip its way into our world.

Farming is a lifestyle filled with wisdom and a closeness to our roots that many people have lost. Farming also brings many life skills with it. A big one we feel everyone (including ourselves) often can work on is patience. It’s so easy nowadays to expect instant results, instant technology, instant everything. I know I often get grouchy with my smartphone for taking more than a few seconds to do something. But a few hours out in the dirt, and somehow the urgency seems to fall away.

There is a lot of patience involved in owning a farm. Waiting for the snow to melt, for the ground to unfreeze, for the rain to come, for the plants to grow, or the cows to drop their calves. Waiting for the fruit to ripen and then waiting some more for the jellies to set and pies to bake after you’ve eaten all you can from the fresh stuff.

In the city, you can go to the store and pick up a container of strawberries in January. Bright red, smelling slightly sweet, firm beneath your fingers. But those strawberries won’t taste like strawberries. Not really. Those strawberries were grown in a greenhouse, picked when they were large but still white, then flown to a Canadian supermarket where you bought them.

Farming teaches that there’s a rhythm and an order to things. Of course those strawberries taste mostly of water without any of the real strawberry goodness, they were purchased in January. Strawberry season is July. It can feel painfully slow to watch the produce grow in spring from sprouts to mature plants to producing real, ripe food. But patience is a necessary life skill, and fresh-picked strawberries ripened to a deep, rose red by the hot, summer sun is probably the best way to teach that many things are worth the wait.

There are few pleasures in this world like owning a farm. Fewer still are the pastimes, hobbies, or lifestyles that will afford you fresh produce, that will be a refuge from the noise and bustle of the outside world. And that can be a place to put to practice hard work, discipline, and patience. Farming Families is committed to helping people fulfil their life journey and dreams of being self-sustaining or just getting back to their roots and the land. And when it comes to finally taking that first step towards completing your dreams, no patience is required.

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