But am I really?
I’m often times found brooding in the corner, sulking and ashamed of some silly mistake I made while continuing this farming adventure we’re on. This year our family farm saw tremendous growth with new animals, new experiences and a magnitude of great outcomes but how come it is as I sit here and reflect I find myself not relishing in the good but flogged and belittled by the smallest failures?
I find myself comparing our little farm to others on larger scales and envying their time and dedication to this lifestyle. I am jealous that seven days a week they are able to raise to their roosters crowing, gather eggs for lunch and garden in the midday heat.
I’m consumed by the desire to expand and do more and be more here while financial restraints don’t allow it and need both my husband and I to work.
I want, I want, I want…I want a garden that’s lush and plentiful. I made so many mistakes this year. I’ve never attested to being a gardener and honestly wouldn’t even consider my thumb even the slightest shade of green but this year it brought me great joy to see our hard work take shape. We had many firsts this year in the garden: we expanded the raised beds from 6 last year to 15 this year, while successfully growing for the first time swiss chard, zucchini’s and a wide variety of herbs. But even with all those gardening achievements, why is that when small mistakes like strawberries not gracing our plants because of fluctuating temperatures, or planting kale in too much sun or not hilling potatoes soon enough, do we berate ourselves and downgrade this year’s achievements? I have spent countless hours toiling over what I did wrong in the garden this year and envying those gardens still growing lushly around us.
I find myself hanging off of every critique and criticism offered by farmers, butchers and everyday know-it-all’s in regards to all aspects of farming. I defend the choices I’ve made in raising our animals all while secretly worried others were right and I made the wrong decisions having never done this before.
But at some point in time we have to stop. I’ve had to consciously stop myself from dwelling on the negatives and picking myself up and embracing the failed attempts and learning from them! So what I didn’t have a hearty kale bounty this year! Next year I will learn from my mistake and plant our kale in the shade and it will inevitably enjoy that location much better. So what strawberries never grew – let’s be honest two little plants weren’t going to generate many strawberries anyway lol and hilling potatoes turned out to not be a big deal as we still had plenty of crisp Yukon Golds harvested.
I’m learning to shut out the negative, embrace the positive and allow time for reflection to get better – I want to be better! After taking the time to think about it, I may sometimes feel as though I have failed as a farmer but it’s not in that moment you are a failure but if you go forward and bury your head in the sand and refuse to try again that you are a true failure.
Don’t be a failure. Continue to try. Make mistakes. Pick yourself up. Rebound even better.
Thanks for reading,
The Unlikely Farmer