Roger Miller, one of the greatest singer/songwriter's of the modern age, sings this great song, "You Can't Roller Skate In A Buffalo Herd." Such witty lyrics and a powerful message that we can all learn from: You can be happy, if you've a mind to.
When you work a homestead or farm of any size, there are a lot of things that could get you down. Crop failure, pests and predators, your goat escaping his pen and eating the neighbor's prized rose bushes, or anything else, really.
Last year, I planted 15 tomato plants and every one of them got some sort of leaf curl and bottom rot. I didn't get a single tomato off of them.
We've raised rabbits for three or so years now. We had years where we didn't see one baby rabbit, and we've had years where we only had one small litter.
Strawberries and blueberries are a favorite snack, but we have never had enough to harvest more than a handful or two.
Sometimes our chickens wont lay eggs. We've had mama hens hatch eggs and all of the babies die. We've had half of our flock of ducks eaten in one night by a raccoon, or maybe even a family of raccoons.
It goes without saying that life on a farm can be disappointing. But if you want to be happy, you can be. As the great Roger Miller says, "All you gotta do is put your mind to it. Knuckle down, buckle down, do it, do it, do it!"
On our farm, we choose to be happy, and we make choices that lead to happiness.
With my tomatoes, I learned about why my tomatoes failed, and supplemented our soil accordingly. This year, our tomatoes are doing wonderfully! I planted eight tomatoes this year and already I can tell that I am going to have more fruit than I will know what to do with. I've already harvested some of the earliest ripening fruit, some ‘Indigo Rose,’ and some ‘Sunset Gold’ cherry tomatoes. When a branch falls off of the plant (because they are so heavily laden with fruit), I gather the green tomatoes and make fried green tomatoes, or other dishes. They have been, and will be, delicious!
This year we have more baby rabbits than we can handle, and one of our mama's just had another litter. Our bantam hen has three chicks right now. Mama and her babies are in a special brooder where they are protected and have a waterer that the chicks can't drown in. All are happy and healthy!
Even though our plums and peaches didn't set fruit this year, it's been a good year for berries, and we had more than enough strawberries to make jam and snack on. And that's not even mentioning all the blackberries we will have in a week or two!
It's not easy to raise a farm, whether you raise animals, plants, or both. Sometimes it can be downright difficult, but if you ask me, it's worth it. It's more than worth it. It's simply satisfying. You can be happy, too, if you put your mind to it.
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