What they don't tell you when you decide to farm


When I chose to become a farmer, I don't think anyone told me that the job is really not just about raising animals or growing vegetables. The reality of owning a small business, particularly a farm, is that you have to learn how to do EVERYTHING yourself. 

Let me tell you. Before I became a farmer, I was NEVER comfortable working on engines. In fact, I feared them so much that for a while, I planned to avoid tractors entirely and rely on draft horses instead (remember this newsletter?). Nowadays, after reading a lot of manuals and watching tons of you-tube videos, I've learned that I'm more than capable of doing routine tractor maintenance on the farm!

And while I do have a mild obsession for Excel spreadsheets thanks to my graduate school experiences as a chemist, I also never expected that I would become an accountant. But here I am, with a small business that needs accounting so I've learned how to manage the cash flow and build reallllyy intensive budgets. 

The farm has helped me learn a ton about carpentry too! You might remember this newsletter about us relocating and rebuilding our historic barn last year. With this project, we had a lot of helping hands, including our carpenter friend Eli, who has since moved to Maine. Without him to help, I was nervous about taking on the barn addition this year because I knew I was going to have to do it pretty much solo. I sometimes joked that I was a "barn-building baby bird" who was leaving the nest for the first time, without his mama bird to help him. 

But over the past 2 months, I've set posts, placed beams, fastened down rafters and nailed on siding.  Looking at our barn addition, which is about a week away from completion, I am still amazed at how much I've learned - progressing from my first rickety little pig house during year #1 to building this major barn addition year #3! 

This has all has made me think about what is possible in in this world when we give ourselves the space to learn, to try things out and mess up once in a while.  What have you always wanted to do but been too scared to try? Or just thought it was beyond your abilities? Maybe it's time to give it a shot!

Your farmers, 
Greg and Jenney