Romanticizing Farm Life

I could paint you a romanticized picture of farm life, but then I would feel guilty for leading you astray.  While farm life has it’s moments of sheer, picture perfect perfection, it is usually only  a brief frame in time before you see reality.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love farm life.  Real farm life, however, has a version of reality not painted in the picture perfect romanticized version. 

There are the cow patties.  There’s lots of mud.  And then there are the flies, the ticks, the poison ivy…the snakes.  The constant capturing of various escapee animals.  The hot weather.  The frigid cold weather.  And let’s not forget some of my personal favorites which have led to more sanctification opportunities in my life over the last year:  the turkey poop on the back steps that gets tracked through the house on the boys boots and of course, let’s not forget the dogs dragging home bloody deer parts to the porch steps to chew on. 

I’m just being realistic. 

Take the new baby goats for example.  We just dropped off 4 of our Alpine goats to be bred.  The very next day, we  bring home 3 Nubian goats my daughter bought.  What were we thinking?  I am not quite sure. 

The momma goat rejected one of the babies and refuses to feed it.  So it is bottle fed.  3 times a day.  Sounds cute and sweet and the first couple of times it is.  The girls oohh and awwhh over how cute he is and they love the fact that he thinks they are his mommy.  He follows them everywhere and when they come inside he misses them. 

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I won’t mention the night we had listening to all the racket coming from these sweet looking goats. 

It is a good thing our neighbor down the road was born and raised in the country or he might have already called the police to come investigate. 

Nubian goats scream.  They don’t maaa or baaaa.  They scream like someone is being tortured and is finally dying. 

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However, I keep telling myself, “It isn’t about me.”    It’s about giving our children opportunities, work and responsibilities.  Giving a 9 year old the responsibility of bottle feeding a little baby animal is good for her.  It’s good for her to remember the times in which she is supposed to go out in the cold and feed him.  It’s good for her to see something thrive under her care.  It’s good for her to practice because come summer time, she will be bottle feeding several of our Alpine babies. 

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While we are not keeping all of the Nubians long term, they have given us yet another opportunity to learn farm life in the raw for a little while and have reminded us that those cute floppy ears and sweet looking face quickly fades behind the  reality of the sound of goats yelling and crying at 3 am.  Such is farm life. 

6 Comments

  • Carmen says:

    I think Nubians are cute but since I know they scream…maybe not. So, in your opinion, what is the best goat for milk? Our soon-to-be 7 year old is saving his money and wants his own goat. We’ve told him that he’ll be taking care of it…he does good helping with the chickens (he has 4 and his older brother (soon-to-be 12) has 11). My mom lives with us and can’t wait for goats. I think she wants a pygmy but I can’t think of an economical reason for one, can you? I can’t imagine trying to milk it! So…I am really not a fan of the great outdoors but I’m mighty handy with the inside things. I love cooking and making things so everyone is clear on the fact that I will take care of the milk and helping the older girls (10 and 8) make cheese and yogurt. Same goes for our large garden. I will plan it and help plant it but when it comes to caring for it I’m all black thumbs so I do the preserving and canning part! Anyway…thanks for keeping it real! Looking forward to more tips! And some more inexpensive and yummy recipes for a large gang!! : )

  • Carmen says:

    One more thing…any websites that you have found helpful regarding goats, making yogurt, cheese, etc.?
    Thanks a bunch!!

  • BethTN says:

    I’ll post more next week on the goats…
    no haven’t made any cheese except “feta” type and haven’t made yogurt yet either.

  • O.K. screaming goats would freak me out a little bit.
    Leticia

  • Lynn says:

    I’m glad you posted this entry. I moved to our homestead a little over 4 years ago with romantic notions of farm life, and have a few examples myself of how quickly those notions disappeared! A homestead is a wonderful place to raise children and I wouldn’t change our location for anything, but there certainly are adjustments to be made. Before we moved here I visited some farm families and came away sometimes with an attitude of “I’ll never do things that way,” only to live the life and discover the reasons for why they lived like they did.

  • […] regards to family:  I won’t romanticize the ideal family farm work.  It’s grueling a lot of times and wonderful the rest.  It has highs only with […]

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