I haven’t been a small farmer long, but in the past 15 years, I have heard more people say that – unless you row crop many hundreds of acres, farming is a losing proposition. Even if you do row crop, it’s still iffy.
I really don’t agree. The Country Boy and I aren’t making a killing, by any means. At least one of us, and sometimes both, have to work off farm to make ends meet. We scrimp, save, and spend wisely. And there are days when we wonder if we need to cross over the fence and join with the naysayers.
And then, God gives us hope.
Today was one of those days for me. On my immediate list of things to do was dig a trench around the chicken coop, so The Country Boy and I could bury chicken wire and tin, in hopes of finally keeping the predators away from our flock.
As sweat dripped down my back and into my eyes, and the heat and humidity almost drove me to my knees in surrender, I honestly wondered if this would really work, or if we would be back to square one in a month. If it was really worth it to put in so much back-breaking effort into trying to make our small farm successful.
As I was headed back inside, I noticed one of my squash plants had given up. Coupled with the fact that a neighbor sprayed his pasture with 2-4-D about the same time I was planting my garden, and most of my tomatoes have curly-leaf syndrome, my heart began to suffer with probably the same squash bug that got my plant. I could feel it. I was giving up.
Then I saw it.
Hope. In the form of baby squash.
Hope. In the form of miniature tomatoes.
And then the phone rang.
It wasn’t a call directly from Heaven, but it was as close as it could be. The Country Boy told me to walk out in the pasture, and see the gift Annabelle had given us.
Hope. In the form of a new baby calf.
The wings of my heart began to flutter. No. Farming, whether small or large, may take more time than most jobs to pay off. It may be harder, dirtier, and some days more difficult to bear, but regardless of size, there is always hope. And the hope that you can see with your own eyes, if often the most beautiful thing in the world.
What brings you Hope on your farm?