“The primary purpose of many small farms is to provide an opportunity for open spaces, fresh air, scenic landscape, privacy, peacefulness, or other unique qualities of rural life. Others are looking for a good place to raise a family … Others farm because they want to live close to nature; many are stewards of the land by choice, because stewardship gives purpose and meaning to their lives. For them, farming is an expression of spirituality.”
– John Ikerd
I wanted to read a memoir about women farming, as I often feel intimidated about participating in male-dominated farming in Australia. But in many ways it’s probably just the usual intimidation felt by city-dwellers feeling our way in completely new territory – it has certainly improved over time as we’ve made connections with local contractors, neighbours, shopkeepers and felt more part of the local community.
I came across this light memoir by Catherine Friend, about a female couple who run a 50 acre farm in Minnesota, USA (same size as ours!). They run about 50 sheep, as well as a menagerie of other animals, and sell their meat and wool commercially. Lambing season for them involves about 100 little white bundles sproinging around the place, which is my idea of heaven, including many bottle-fed lambs from ewes dropping twins, triplets, and quadruplets. Continue reading