If you would have told me 10 years ago that I’d be married to a farmer, I’d laugh in your face.
I remember the day my husband asked me if we could get chickens like it was yesterday. We lived on an acre of land in a quasi neighborhood.
I said no–firmly.
And I continued to say no every time he tried to change my mind.
In my mind, having chickens meant that my backyard would stink every time I went outside, and I also worried about attracting predators like snakes or foxes.
It also seemed too country for me. I grew up on an Air Force base hearing stories that my Jamaican parents shared with me about raising animals. My mom talked about having to kill a chicken, pluck it, then cook it for dinner. It seemed like such a far removed concept.
I loved the idea of having goats and other animals to care for, but killing my own dinner seemed like a thing of the past.
Now that he is a full time farmer, we have at least a dozen different chicken breeds that I could easily rattle off to you.
I can also tell you about different plants, oils, and holistic uses for a variety of plants we grow and use.
What changed my mind
4 years ago, my husband’s father passed away from dementia. He was a State Farm agent and my husband worked in his office as an insurance agent. He hated being on hold, haggling with customers who let their policies lapse and all the the politics. He had a voracious appetite for learning all things horticulture and was invested in growing a variety of different tropical and seasonal fruits and vegetables.
His hobby became his passion and he decided to start his own business and set out to provide our local community with fresh produce.
Seeing his passion for sustainability, I jumped on board.
Day to Day Farm Life
“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”
I’m sure this quote is true, but he wasn’t talking about my family. We hate getting up early!
My husband is such a great father. He helps me with the kids in the morning and helps see us off. He even makes time to make homemade french toast.
Some days though, he has a long to do list and he is out the door while it is still dark.
Most days he is home after the kids are in bed. He has 200+ chickens, so he collects eggs 2x daily. He cleans, weighs and boxes up each one everyday.
He spends most of the day on his feet whether it is 90+ degrees outside, raining, cold, hail, etc.
Being married to a farmer means understanding that his body often takes a beating from the physical labor.
How we involve our kids
Teaching our kids about eating sweets in moderation, steering clear of genetically modified foods and inquiring about where their food comes from could literally be a full time job.
We are investing in our children and leaving a legacy of health and wellness to them.
They get to help raise chickens and collect eggs, so they value the hard work that their dad (along with other farmers) do to put food on the table.
The worst part
Spring, summer and fall are the busiest seasons. My husband works Sunday through Saturday and most nights are late nights.
This makes family time a little harder to get.
Being an entrepreneur does provide some flexibility in day to day scheduling, but it also makes for a choppy day. If we are together for homework and dinner, sometimes he has to leave to finish farm chores at bedtime.
On Saturdays when most families are going to the beach or taking a long weekend somewhere, my husband is still working. Either we leave him behind to take a trip, or we spend time together on the farm or somewhere local so that he can be home in time to tend to the crops/animals.
The best part
Honestly, the benefits of being married to a farmer far out outweighs anything bad. The more I learn about how food is mass produced, the less I can eat! Watching my husband sow into our community brings me such a great sense of pride! I love seeing him work so hard to educate and provide food for our family and community that is free from chemicals.
All of the physical labor means that he is getting a fair amount of exercise. His svelte physique encourages me to stay in shape and make healthy choices.
Watching our kids run around the farm playing for hours on end reminds me of the carefree days in my childhood. I love that they are using their imaginations and enjoy unplugging from technology.
I also know that they will be equipped with life skills beyond what they learn in a textbook. They will never go hungry because they will know how to grow their own food.
View this post on Instagram
There has been a lot of talk lately about the unfair treatment of animals and toxic chemicals in our products & our food. Growing up, I loved hearing stories about my parents growing up in Jamaica. They talked about the chores they had before school (feeding animals) & I remember thinking, I’d love to have a fun chore like that! My mom described how it was often her job to kill, clean & cook the chicken. I often got lost in their stories & tried to imagine what that life was like. When my husband first took an interest in horticulture, he started talking about food & quality. Most people rolled their eyes when he talked (me included), but now with all of the recalls, our conversations ate etched in my brain. I’m so glad he had a vision for a lifestyle similar to the way my parents grew up. While I won’t be killing any chickens to eat, I’ll rely on other local farmers & butchers to provide us with food that was raised free of hormones & animals that were treated kindly. It’s time to wake up y’all. Turning a blind eye to wellness has costly long term effects that are starting to manifest in young people.Start paying attention to those labels & start asking questions. Ignorance is NOT bliss.
Farm life has been a wonderful addition to our family life. Being married to a farmer is unique, in that his job is not a 9-5 position. Farming is a sacrifice, but provides such wonderful benefits to our family and community.