What does “family farm” mean? I suppose to some it means, “the farm that’s been in the family for so many years.” To others it’s a farm worked by a family–Dad, Mom, and kids. Sometimes it’s both at the same time. The week after Christmas brought home to us how much of our “family farm” is the second meaning–especially the “kids” part.
The kids went with their grandparents to the family “cabin” in Canada for the week after Christmas. Mark and I split their chores, which wasn’t such a big deal. Where I ran stuck was realizing I had to do the 15 or 20 minutes of chores with a 4 year old and baby in tow! I’ve done it before and plenty of women have done and still do it, but I’m spoiled now. I’m used to having older children to leave Jim with. Those same kids can fill in for my chores if need be, or help me make dinner, or do the whirlwind house pick-up at day’s end. They also contribute invaluably in processing the chickens from squawk to freezer. They watch out for each other, like the day Dorothy packed up Jim and she, Keith, and Rachel pulled him in a sled down to where Joe and Sam were working on their cabin. We work together, play together, dream together, drive each other crazy together. Not every farm is like that. There are farms around us that use Manpower to hire their employees and that don’t employ their children. We figure they’re missing out. Our family is an integral part of our operation. Our children are the “family” in “family farm.” Nothing like a vacation to bring that home.