Being a farmer is a lot of work - it’s long days, physically and emotionally demanding and extremely unpredictable.
But if you ask Dinner Starts Here blogger Erin - it’s also one of the greatest jobs you could ever be lucky enough to have.
There’s always a new challenge, a new adventure and something else to do.
While certain elements of your day may be the same or similar from day to day, you’ve gotta make things be as efficient as possible which means juggling a bunch of things, multi-tasking and making things work.
Because, when it’s busy on the farm, you’ve got at least two days worth of work to fit into far less than that and there’s WAY more to do than just make hay while the sun shines.
There is nothing like walking outside and feeling the crisp morning air as you begin your day with the sun.
When you’re a farmer you get to spend a big chunk of your life outdoors and are rarely confined to a desk or an office for long periods of time.
Your desk is the seat of a tractor, setting a farmers’ market display or out in a field where your crops are.
Even if you should find yourself at a desk there are is always SOMETHING you can convince yourself you should check on – a field, a crop, an animal or anything else.
Plus, the views from our desks aren’t too shabby, even when we have to do pesky things like pay the bills.
Working as a farmer means your colleagues are often times family, and they’re the best people you can surround yourself with because they just get it.
They usually have similar views, morals and objectives so you’re working towards the same goals and dreams.
They’ve known you a long time which means they know when you need a break, when they can push you harder and they’re right there invested with their whole hearts and souls just as much as you, which means that there is a level of trust that is hard to reach with just about anyone else.
They love you, and they love seeing you thrive so you work well together to make your combined dreams a reality.
You always know when it’s sunny outside. Or when it’s raining. Or about to the rain. Or when you really NEED rain. Or when you wish it would just stop raining.
Your livelihood depends entirely on your crops, and your crops depend so much on the weather that it becomes second nature to watch updates online, radar maps and the sky and put it all together to make your own weather report.
The words “I’m bored” on a farm don’t exist – and if they are ever uttered – there are lists and lists and lists of things that can ALWAYS be done.
There is always something that needs to be done, something new you’re thinking of putting into action or something just in awe of.
Whether it’s a crop’s resilience, a bug’s determination, or an evening sunset – there is always something to be seeing, doing, improving or changing on a farm.
And in those few rare moments where you’re not doing anything? You’re probably so glad to have a minute of down time without anything pressing to do that you soak it up and would never admit out loud of any semblance of being bored.
Being a farmer means you must wear a lot of hats and do a lot of jobs.
You need to be able to do the accounting and the bookwork, to pay the bills, do any advertising, deliver product, talk to the public, pick up supplies, fix a tractor, build something you need, answer the hard questions, and make it all of that and so much more work while still maintaining your sanity.
If you had to list skills or abilities on a resume, you’d probably need at least a second page because you’ve got to be able to make everything and anything work the best you possibly can.
At any one time you probably have at least 17 balls in the air at once and you do your best to not let (m)any of them hit the ground.
Not only are you good at doing a lot of different jobs that may come up at any time, but you’re also great at juggling being able to do a lot of different things at once.
Sure, juggling a lot at once is hard - but we learn, grow and do our best as we always try to do the best possible job we can, with everything that we do and when something crazy pops up that would usually stress someone out, we’re fairly use to being able to take it in stride, make sense of it and make a plan to fix it.
Living in the country means your driveway is it’s own long dirt road, you have too much land to ever think about raking the leaves and your neighbours are few and far between – but they’re the ones you can count on in a snow storm, when someone gets sick or you just need a helping hand.
Farm life offers it’s own unique kind of peace and quiet, where hearing a car pass or another voice is rare, especially compared to the songs you’re sung by birds as you have dinner outside.
You get to see the stars and the moon whenever you head outdoors at night and your backdrop is trees and fence lines, not sky scrappers or office buildings.
Plus your commute to work is short, you know just about every nook, cranny, rock, branch and stream there is around and you always have a great place outdoors to go for a stroll after dinner.
With new technologies, new methods, experience and trial and error, you’re always changing and growing.
As farmers we’re always going to conferences, workshops and meetings trying to better ourselves, our farms and our industries so that we can provide the highest quality of food on to peoples plates.
We thrive on learning something new, finding a way to do something better.
Whether it’s improving the way we grow something, harvest something or making sure that our land and our crops are in the best possible condition – we’re always going out of our way to read, learn, grow and change so that we can be the best we possibly can.
When it all boils down to it, that’s what we as farmers are doing every day, and the biggest reason why we love what we do.
Whether you sell directly off your farm to the local communities, you sell to grocery stores, or you sell what you’ve farmed half way across the world, being a farmer means that you get to go to bed each night knowing that you have contributed to something that people need on a most basic level.
We love being outside, we love who we work with, we love what we do, but we are so happy to be able to farm our farms each day, doing what we love, helping to feed the world.
Nothing is quite as gratifying after a full days hard work knowing that you were a part of putting healthy, nutritious, delicious food on another family’s table.