Hard Times On The Farm: An Honest Look At The Struggles of Homesteading


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Categories: Life Stories

We feel it important to find articles for you our readers not only of how wonderful life on the grid or homestead could be or is, but also to share other peoples struggles and triumphs. This is the case of a young family running their small farm called The Excelsior Farm.

In this article they share some of the things that they have encountered to be difficult or challenging for them this year. Lets read along.

Dear Friends,

Spring is always a hectic time for farmers. It’s the heaviest planting time, for one thing; the most transplants go out at this time, as well as many of our direct-sown crops like carrots, beets, radishes, and salad mix. In order to plant at all, however, we need to work the soil and form beds, lay down compost and organic soil amendments, and then do the work of planting. But tilling and bed-forming are best done when the soil is on the dry side, requiring a good stretch of warm, sunny days. Such stretches are hard to come by in the spring in our climate.

Once planted, the crops need to be cultivated, which ideally requires similar weather conditions. And seeds continually need to be started and sown throughout the season, and the cycle goes on. You see what a race it can be against time and the elements, always fitting things in here and there when the conditions are right. Oh, and the vegetables need to be harvested, washed, packed, sold and delivered on top of it all.


This particular spring has been the hardest yet at Excelsior Farm, and indeed one of the hardest times of our lives. Take the above scenario, a typical spring, and throw in having a baby. Our daughter Marion Violet joined us on March 9, just as all our earliest transplants needed to go out, just as we launched our first wholesale orders to natural food stores and restaurants. (We seem to have a knack for terrible timing, having also gotten married in the middle of July a couple seasons back). The first three weeks postpartum have become infamous in Excelsior Farm history.

As I was recovering from the rigors of childbirth, Farmer Jeremy shouldered the farm responsibilities by himself working 7 long days a week for over a month. This included sowing, harvesting, washing, packing and delivering orders as well as continuing to work on winter-now-spring projects, and staying on top of regular farm work. All the while I was at home with Marion, breastfeeding around the clock, reflecting on one of the most difficult experiences of my life, and struggling with postpartum depression. A lot of days we felt like we were in a long distance relationship instead of married people.

To finish reading the article go HERE

via TheExcelsiorFarmChronicle

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