Monday, October 17, 2005

Life and Death on the Farm

The medicinal herb posts will wait a few days...lets talk about the other side of farming.

Farming has risks and I don't mean just financial ones. I believe that those of us living the agrarian life, to one degree or another, must endeavor to present both sides....not just the happy moments.

It has been hard for me (who admits to leaning towards being a wee bit of an over-protective Mama) to watch my boys hike the mountain knowing they might encounter snakes, or even something occasional black bear. It was a struggle to let them work around or on some of the equipment... the tractor, the bush hog, the baler, the hay elevator....It was frightening to watch my oldest (15 at the time) mount the new horse and fly across the fields along the bottom of the mountain (after all we knew NOTHING about this horse!).I was a country girl at heart but had spent all of my adult years in the big city, which is full of other kinds of danger...enough to make anyone over-protective!

Then there are those special moments that we get to experience when watching the birth of a calf , holding brand new baby goats, seeing the full moon climb over the mountain ridge at the back of the farm, seeing a little boy with his first gun "gonna bring home dinner Mama!".

But there are ugly moments too. When a favorite animal dies after you have given all you can to save it, when a coyote gets into the barn after chickens or cattle, or when a beloved animal goes missing (where IS that cat), when a crop fails, or you have a fire...or worse.

Saturday a friend of mine left her husband clearing a path through the woods on his tractor. She came back in the afternoon and Steve wasn't back...and she didn't hear the tractor running...she went to look. Evidently, the tractor had rolled, at least once, and then up righted itself and Steve was found about 25 feet from the tracotr. He didn't survive. This is a fairly young couple. Steve was 51. Questions race through my mind....what will happen to Sandee now? What will happen to the farm? How will the family cope? Will they persevere? Will the kids come home and help run the farm? In the end, will she have lost her dear husband and the farm that she loves?

We have lived here 7 years. We have read a similar story at least once a year since we have been here. This is the first time it has happened to a friend.

Farming has must ask yourself if you are willing to take them...count the cost....realize that the agrarian lifestyle encompasses all areas of life...even the hard ones.

If you think of it...please pray for Sandee and her family.



  1. Such a powerful reminder that we are but a vapor and that the true crop the true homestead is heaven. We must be prepared to meet our king any day.

  2. Please extend our prayers for you friend Sandy in her loss.


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