Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Tough Question

The other day on the way in to Tractor Supply for chicken feed - my local feed store out here in the sticks never seems to be open when I'm not working, and with me being away from home so much we don't have enough kitchen scraps to supplement them enough to do away with feed.... - the Spawn asked me a question that has been haunting me since.

"Are we farmers?"

I stopped in my tracks. I SO incredibly wanted to say yes. I vehemently wanted to say yes. But I had to say no. And then the hard part of explaining to the young inquisitive mind...

So...yeah...I have said before that contrary to appearances and no matter what I consider Stoneyhaw a farm. Yet I had to explain to that we're not farmers. And several weeks later I think I have kind of figured out why.

Stoneyhaw is a farm, but as of yet doesn't have any farmers. To me a farmer is someone who tends the various facets of said farm, and coaxes productivity out of it. Be it in the form of animals, vegetables, fruit, honey, flowers, hay, compost, humus, topsoil.... Basically someone who cultivates some aspect of the land be it amplifying an existing natural occurrence (humus), or not quite as natural (rows of tomatoes and pole beans, for example). Furthermore, a farmer is someone who uses said coaxed item to sustain themselves directly (eating the veggies) or indirectly (selling the veggies for money).

We still aren't quite there. With the building and winterizing of living spaces, and the full time job, my time has not been devoted to the farm as much as I would like. It's a tough one - I'm at work full time to make a living which takes away time from the farm...yet I need more time on the farm to bring it up to a place where I can make a living... And my living is most definitely only minorly supported by it. BUT. We are coaxing more and more out of it. While our garden took a hit this year due to the drought, our chickens are now coming into lay and we are getting 3 - 5 eggs a day (up from maybe 1, wouldn't you say?!). As we eat a lot of eggs, this helps to support us.

So I guess we're on our way. And I really can't wait until the day that the Spawn asks me this question and I can say "yes".

1 comment:

Samantha Bangayan said...

I had no idea about this definition! Glad to hear that it's coming together though. =)