What The Farm Has Taught

Certain elemental truths of the universe manifest themselves in their purest forms at the farm. I suspect this has something to do with the nature of the farm and its place at the root of all civilization. Maybe not, though.

So, here are some lessons we’ve learned from the farm…

1]  Chickens exist: firstly, to feed all the predators in the woods; secondly, to defecate everywhere (bonus: garden fertilizer!); thirdly, to eat all bugs everywhere (that includes ticks!); and lastly, to lay eggs. In that order. Those things cease happening in reverse order.

How many chickens did he murder?

2]  Everything always gets tangled on everything else. This is similar to the law of entropy, which is the scientific language for Murphy’s Law. Rolled up fencing gets tangled on itself. Barbed wire snags everything. Unrolled fencing finds ways of marrying itself to various shrubs, weeds, limbs, and vines. Vines grab everything, including your face as you try to deftly toss them onto the burn pile. If anything can snag, poke, grab, stab, stick, twist, or tangle, it will.

3]  An electric fence is an amazingly effective containment method. Except when a tree limb falls on it.

4]  You’re always closer to the electric fence than you realize.

5]  Farm work is the original P90X. This is why we have a pandemic of obesity in America – nobody farms anymore.

6]  Manure is an invaluable resource. Except when it’s on the carpet.

7]  Pigs devote their time to accomplishing three basic objectives: 1) Eat as much as possible, as fast as possible; 2) Create mud pits everywhere; 3) Destroy everything (except the electric fence, which they only touch when their masochistic side gets the better of them)

8]  Everyone has the farm in their soul. Our origins lie in the farm, and our language still reflects this. For example, “All cooped up,” “Pigging out,” “Bully,” “Cocky,” and on and on. (I’m developing a future blog post devoted to this very thing)

9]  The grass ALWAYS looks greener on the other side. Always.

10]  God, via nature, has surrounded us with food – if only we’ll open our eyes and see it.

Foraging is so rewarding!

One of the three different species of edible mushrooms we collected this year.

11]  Manual labor is a prime setting for quiet (or loud) contemplation. There, one can exercise the body and mind and have productive, tangible results at day’s end.

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4 Responses to What The Farm Has Taught

  1. I love this! I am currently studying Sustainable Ag at school…hopefully i will be running my own farm very soon…Nice Blog!

    • Fantastic! Milk all you can from those ag. classes! One area (among many) where we’re lacking is in the academic, informational side of things – like nutrient densities, land and animal management systems, etc. So we have to figure that stuff out from people online or just as we go. Thanks for reading!

  2. Katherine Shane says:

    Kate and Nate, it’s been a while since I’ve been on line but I have to say I LOVE reading your blogs…they are entertaining and thought provoking and I enjoy learning about the lives of real life farmers!!! Keep ’em coming…and I want to see more pics of baby Saylor Jack!!!!

  3. friendmouse says:

    Flat-out livin’ the dream! Keep it up, if you can. And yes…more pics of Saylor Jack, please. 🙂

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