Farming with Kids

Having my first child in a monastery where there were no other kids.We worked seven days a week and long hours each day. I started working again right after she was born . It never occurred to me to do differently, I loved it there, I didn’t want to live another life. When she was a few months old during the winter, my project was to design and build a large greenhouse 88’x25′.It had a propagation area, bottom heat, misting foggers, power and lights.With my daughter sleeping outside in the car near me, I helped to build this then spent the first year propagating over 10,000 plants with her right next to me .Over the years and each baby born I just integrate them into what I’m doing. My second daughter we built a house her first year.

I think most mothers fear daycare. Well I was terrified of it. It’s important to be with your children especially the first four years , best if it’s both parents. Also I think it’s important for each person, a mother included, to contribute what they are meant to do in this life. I don’t think children’s needs should override this. Their needs are the most important priority, but there can be other priorities. I used to think my daughter would be damaged from this, but instead she felt well loved and included. I think our culture lately has focused all a mother’s attention on child rearing only, forgetting to develop other talents .But recently I saw an old farming picture, the young child, maybe three, was up on the horses back while the dad plowed the field.The child was happy and well taken care of yet in the middle of it all, feeling needed, yet not interfering with the work needing to be done.

The other day I was splitting wood and I stuck my head in the house and yelled for my daughters to help me. They came right out the younger managing the four wheeler we used to move the wood. The other older one hopped on the back. While I still split wood, they quickly and efficiently moved the wood to the porch. The littlest one coming out to stack.Hard work done quickly. They were confident in their abilities.Capable, I was so proud.

I think farming is the best of both worlds in this way. Kids can be a part of it all. Not that it’s not challenging and sometimes can seem unsafe. But the helpfulness it fosters, the work ethics learned, the creativity and problem solving ability the children learn. I think it gives the children invaluable tools to later cope and excel in life.

Striking a balance between work and play . Overwhelming tasks, financial worries and a small helper that wants to just be a part and learn to master their bodies. How to we learn to be kind, gentle, yet skillfully, creatively, direct our young charges. I still want to learn to play more, push less. Life is all about learning.

4 Replies to “Farming with Kids”

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  2. Very nice post Katie. Thanks for this one. I love the image of the babies stacking firewood on the porch. I think the danger aspect is one of perception. Certainly, farming can be dangerous but so can most anything else. I’ll bet there are fewer speeding cars to contend with on the farm. I firmly believe that given the chance we can, at any age, learn to do most anything safely.

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