Monday, April 23, 2012

A realistic view of Hobby Farm life

I am hooked on Pinterest. My favorite topic is, of course, the gardening pins. I love browsing the pins and getting ideas for the farm.

Practical ideas.

Oh, I am a fan of the pretty ideas too, but realistically, it won’t happen here. It can’t. We are on a hobby farm, with domestic and not so domestic critters, snakes, bugs, wind, dirt, grasses and weeds either tall or just mowed. And rain. Sometimes lots of rain.

As an example, I have run across many pins of serene, relaxing places created in the garden. Most have pretty cushions and pillows or are gazebo type structures with flowing sheers as quasi curtains blowing in a gentle breeze.  However, if we had one at the Rural Living Farm, can you imagine what it would look like after the feral cats found it one night? The flowing sheers would be dangling shreds as they used them to climb to the top of the structure. Or after the chickens decided to hut for bugs between the pretty cushions? I can just see WJ perched on the back of an outdoor lounger purging his dinner from his backside onto the cushion.  These serene places are imaginary for us. Our farm is real life. Pull up a plastic chair you can power-wash from time to time. It will need it and once you are done, power wash the patio again. The chickens have obviously been here. 

Yes, farm life has it's advantages but it's not always clean and pretty. In fact it isn't clean most of the time. Especially after it rains. For women who insist on a clean kitchen floor, forget it on a hobby farm. Yes, we sweep. And sweep. And sweep and mop some more and as soon as you are done someone comes through the back door after gathering eggs from the coop in the rain or from a long day in the pasture trying to squeeze out every possible second of daylight to get just a little more done. Your house will never look like Home and Garden. It will look more like grit and grime. Wonder if that would make a good pin?

The Pinterest pins I like the most are those recycled pallet projects or alternative growing methods, seed varieties and indestructible projects. Those are real ideas for a Hobby Farm. I saw some pretty wind chimes one day made from tiny clay pots, painted in a rainbow pallet of colors and thought those would be great until I realized they would attract the farm cats as a play toy when they take a break from their "rat killin'". I reconsidered recreating that pin. I also found a lighting project using mason jars and solar lighting and that would be a great idea so long as we secured them.

Oh I am not complaining, no not one bit. I wouldn't have it any other way. My trade off is coffee on the patio in the morning, watching the wildlife, butterflies, dragonflies, birds of all shapes and colors and the humming birds as they fight over newly filled feeders. I love the fresh air, the peace and quiet. I love not having neighbors closer than 1/2 a mile away. And I love taking our Papillion Chuckie out in the evening and hearing a hoot owl then looking up at the millions of stars in the sky.

Being on a hobby farm means I can grow fresher vegetables than I can get at the local grocer and I know how they were produced. It means living with the wonderful things that the good Lord created even if that means I walk around in grey/green rubber boots. It means a slower lifestyle than many and a fuller life than most and a place we call ours with sometime to browse pins on Pinterest. Grit, grime and all.

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