Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Rural Living farm defined

When there is little to do on the farm but read and work on tasks that don't require rubber boots and slicker suits you find yourself passing the time searching online for new seed companies, chicken breeders or small farm supply companies as well as reading others blogs on homesteading and catch up on must read articles on homesteading e-zines.

One website I really like to visit is Mother Earth News. I have subscribed to this magazine on and off since I was a young adult. Back then, it was my post 60's earth girl mentality....not that I have lost that persona but now it's because the website is also loaded with great articles.

Last night I read an article that gave me a "That's it!" feeling.... describing what I have blogged about on here for a while. That is the longing to be able to spend my every waking hour on this hobby farm.

This feeling now has a definition: BarnHeart.

Jenna Woginrich describes Barnheat as
"that sudden overcast feeling that hits you while at work or in the middle of the grocery store checkout line. It’s unequivocally knowing you want to be a farmer — and for whatever personal circumstances — cannot be one just yet."

When I read that description I had tears in my eyes knowing I wasn't alone. I know now that while others think I have lost my mind when I talk about the day I can retire to spend countless hours at Rural Living when I am old enough to do so, in reality I am in good company with others who think and feel the same way that I do.

She goes on to describe the day-dreaming, heart-tugging feeling we get shortly after we arrive from work that lasts nearly the entire day making it next to impossible to focus on the tasks at hand.
"Specifically targeted at those of us who wish to god we were outside with our flocks, feed bags, or harnesses and instead are sitting in front of a computer screens. When a severe attack hits, it’s all you can do to sit still. The room gets smaller, your mind wanders, and you are overcome with the desire to be tagging cattle ears or feeding pigs instead of taking conference calls."


Jenna offers some sound advice to those of us who admit to be suffering from Barnheart and remedies for the hardest of days.

"Usually, simple, small actions in direction of your own farm can be the remedy. In worst-case scenarios you might find yourself resorting to extreme measures. These situations call for things like a day called in sick to do nothing but garden, muck out chicken coops, collect fresh eggs and bake fresh bread. While that may seem drastic, understand this is a disease of inaction, darling. It hits us the hardest when we are farthest from our dreams. So to fight it we must simply have faith that some day 3:47 p.m. will mean grabbing a saddle instead of a spreadsheet. Believing this is even possible is halfway to healthy."


I am definitively not alone. Not only did I connect with Jenna but many others who also suffer from Barnheart from comments left from many others who too, suffer from Barnheart.

One reader Marcia confessed,

"I have found myself at a desk job feeling trapped and suffocated by 2PM. I would actually have to step outside the office and take a stroll around the building, telling myself I can make it through the day. That's when you know you were meant to work outdoors! The fresh air and the sun on your face - ahhh! I have a 1-acre garden and am currently pouring over seed catalogs and plotting the 2010 garden plan on my computer. I have been researching plans for chicken coops and subscribing to homesteader blogs as I find them. And I've often wondered if there is another farmer soul like me out there to share my dreams without the "you are crazy" looks shooting back at me."


Another comment left by reader Appalachian tried to persuade us that our desire to homestead full time wasn't all glamorous,

Barnheart sufferer! If you want a quick cure, head over to your nearest farmer who has a three acres of green beans, onions, corn, pumpkins, whatever! Volunteer to spend a day - heck, even a couple hours - picking veggies. Do this on a day when it's 110 degrees in the shade as the sun starts to set. Come back the next day to milk the cows before the sun comes up and then watch the feller as he tries to fix the tractor! This is a great cure for the infliction that takes you away from a comfy life to the mercies of mother nature.



I think if Appalachian walked in my shoes for a while he would one day suffer from Barnheart.