You may be thinking about going into farming for yourself, but also rightfully wondering what it takes to live on a farm. It’s definitely not the same thing as living in a big city, that’s for sure. There are good and bad points which can be argued for both rural and urban life, but that’s not what we’re here to do right now. If you’re thinking of becoming a farmer yourself, then there is a world of knowledge you need to pick up before you get started, not the least of which is what to expect from farm life.
Perhaps the most important thing to know is that there are no vacations on a farm. You may think the winter season would at least give growers a few months of peace during the year, but winter happens to be the perfect time for aerating soil, collecting seeds from the crops which were left in fall to go to seed, chopping trees, breaking rocks and clearing land. If you really want to be a farmer, you need to realize you’ll be doing the farmer thing for (probably) 12 hours a day, every day, with only the occasional day off. No week-long vacation for you!
Isolation isn’t necessarily a part of the farming lifestyle, but you’re definitely going to notice fewer people around you if you move from an urban area to a rural one. This probably won’t bother you if you actually enjoy peace and quiet, but social people may suffer for living on a farm. Thankfully, you can make up for decreased human interactions with all the phone calls you’ll be making to nearby restaurants, grocery stores and other food vendors, all of whom you’ll be trying to sell your farm products to in order to make a living.
Animals die for all kinds of reasons, and nobody knows this fact better than the farmers who raise those animals. If you want to live on a farm, you’re going to need to be able to not get too attached to your livestock. It sounds simple enough to look at a cow and see a couple hundred steaks rather than a living, breathing thing, but some people will struggle with this concept. You can always hire someone else to butcher and process your meats for you, but that’s more money you could hold onto and save, and every little bit counts when living on a farm.
A level of mechanical aptitude is also crucial if you want to live on a farm. Equipment breaks down even when treated with care, and knowing how to repair a broken piece of machinery can be the difference between continuing to use it and needed to buy something entirely new. You don’t need to be a certified mechanic to live on a farm, but it sure helps. It should go without saying, but a willingness to get your hands dirty is also a sort of prerequisite to living and working on a farm.