Monday, February 6, 2012

Why Do You Farm?

Cottonhauler asked a very poignant question in the Cafe last night. Why do you farm?

I thought Thud aka Paul from Essex County Ontario had a good reply. "Well I wanted to be the POPE, but that job was taken so I took up farming :-) I think its a combination of things, freedom to make your own decisions, freedom to do what YOU want, freedom to set your own schedule ( within limits of course). In a nut shell I think most farmers are independently minded, I have worked a couple of off farm jobs over the years and I can honestly say that if I had to work in an assembly plant , or an office , or even drive truck EVERY DAY.. 5 days a week all year long I wouldn't make it past the first year.

Farming offers a variety of jobs, some hard, some easy, some mentally draining and even others mentally stimulating all of which are ultimately very rewarding. Life isn't always about getting rich and having all the toys that the neighbour has, sometimes life is just about enjoying what you do. Its very rewarding to plant a crop, watch it grow and harvest in the fall, its even more rewarding when nature and the markets co-operate and you get a big crop and a good price. :-) I think I'll pass on the POPE job if it ever comes up again :-p"

I farm because I always wanted to and always have, just more some years than others. I farmed heavily with my dad and brother in the 70's until I suffered my retinal detachment, then I slowed down awhile but I have planted something every year.

The Blanchester FFA Farm was my main farm for 16 years and the Clermont Northeastern FFA Farm was until I retired from public service in 2002. I farmed the home farm for one year until we bought this place in 2004. We went from 50 acres to 1125 harvested in 2010 in a very short period of time.

There is something very special about farming that you can't explain. Farming ground you own or are paying for is even more special. I was thinking I like those open fields now just to keep distance from me and the neighbor but that's selfish and very honest.

A farm is a place I can take all my curiosity and knowledge about life and creation to work every day, from cutting firewood out of the fence rows to planting and harvesting a good corn crop. Everyone says it's hard and it's risky but really anyone can do it. It might take you a lifetime but I guarantee you there is an old couple somewhere right now who would welcome the right person to help them while you learn. Do you have the qualities to learn about farming?

I was raised with them so that's an unfair advantage I may have. The first time I dug in soil or saw a seed sprout and grow, my curiosity about life and nature was unleashed. "How things work" in farming is a lifelong learning endeavor for me. I am still learning.

So why do you farm? More importantly why don't you if you are reading this? This blog all revolves around my farming activities. I couldn't wait to get up and share them with you this morning.

The coffee is hot and the sun is rising as another beautiful day unfolds, "down on the farm."



  1. Well said Ed. Much the same for me. Knowing I can get up every morning and decide what job I am going to do and how soon I start (and quit) is a lifestyle I have become so accustomed to that it would be very hard to change now.

  2. It was easy for me to be envious of men like you, Ralph, when I was trying to educate kids but only when the sun was shining! I guess it all worked out for the good but the last ten years has been awesome. I have admitted to likening the quitting of teaching like divorce though...

  3. I felt the same way about working in the timber and at the sawmill.

  4. Still working the 9PM shift. I'm hoping to move to Ga/Tn and start up a farm. I read this, because I like the way you write. Always informative. Good post!

  5. Thanks Bobby, and thanks all! That's why I keep writing! Thank you! See what you did to my comment section Gorges??? You made it come alive!