More and more people are choosing to go back to basics and come back to a rural lifestyle. Though what’s often a called “the simple life” is actually anything but. Farming is not an easy, low maintenance kind of activity. In fact, as a lifestyle, it requires as much preparation and skill as an office job.
Becoming a farmer isn’t as easy as quitting your day job, choosing a farm, and magically knowing what you need to do to turn the land into a well-oiled, live organism. Though instinct is a big part of the farming lifestyle, especially for those working with animals, being a successful farmer requires a lot more than that. Newcomers will need to internalize a couple of life lessons before deciding to leave the city and move to a farm full time.
Expect the Unexpected
Going from a desk job to farming is one of the most drastic changes anyone can do. Those coming in without any prior experience, need to be prepared for a steep and long learning curve. Don’t set yourself up for failure by thinking you will excel at each one of the new farming activities the first time. Farm work will require skills that most new farmers haven’t developed yet. Remember that it might take you a few weeks before actually getting the hang of most of the stuff you’re doing. Don’t sweat it, it’s completely normal. Just make sure to stay open to new experiences and new ways of getting things done. Farm work requires flexibility.
Working the land is dangerous. There are heavy machinery, heavy tools, and wild animals involved. And that’s not even accounting for the environment. Make sure to take all the necessary measures to keep yourself safe. It can be as easy as making sure to always apply sunscreen during the summer, and carrying appropriate gloves during the winter, to getting extra help when handling particularly heavy material. Farm work can absolutely make you feel stronger than ever before, but make sure not to strain a muscle for doing way too much, way too soon.
Time Off Will Still Be Necessary
Evolution hasn’t gotten humankind to the point where we can work for 12 hours straight without taking any breaks, so make sure you’re not overdoing it. As gratifying as farm work is, is also grueling. Farmers, especially new ones, will need breaks in their daily activities and vacations every now and then. Make sure to stay in tune with what your body is telling you and take a break if you need it.
Stay Positive During the Hard Times
In activities that require so much work and are so dependent on the environment, there are bound to be some pretty tough days. Though you might feel more than motivated to go out and feed your animals on a sunny day with nice weather, it’s going to be a different story once it gets way too hot outside or it’s raining cat and dogs. During those times, it’s important to remember that it’s all momentary and that it’s nothing compared to the joy of being able to live a peacefully rural life.