For some of us, all this stuff with backyard farming may not be too surprising. But for others, when you have come to the realization that you have relied for too much on societal systems i.e. the food distribution channels in the U.S.; the local malls and big box stores for everyday items; or fully partook in the “throw-away” nature of today consumerism and manufacturing, becoming more self-sufficient may have a few lessons for ya to experience.
Our efforts at ThatAquaponicsGuy in bringing back the knowledge and the know-how that our grandparents and great grandparents knew about a sustaining farm attitude has taught us a lot. Here’s our list of 10 things you learn when you undertake the backyard farm:
1. Working 9 to 5? Yeah right!
Getting your Backyard Farm into place and functioning will take a lot of work. Beyond what you are doing for a living, you will need to put in the time that it takes to become self-sustaining. Your day could look like something like this: Early to rise to feed small animals, check system levels and gauge times for your plants and that’s before you get that tie on and get to work. And after work, you need to keep going until everything’s done. Even the dark of night sometimes doesn’t stop the daily chores that maintain what you have built.
2. Sleeping in… Again, yeah right!
It doesn’t matter if you are naturally an early riser or not; your Backyard Farm livestock, don’t know if it is a weekend or a holiday, all they know is that they are hungry. Being consistent in how you take care of the animals and the grow bed “crops” means you don’t have any huge surprises and breakdowns that come unexpectedly.
3. Put your “barn” clothes on!
You probably don’t want to be wearing Sunday-going-to-church clothes to take care of that Backyard Farm. Inevitably, most apparel you wear when checking on it all eventually makes it to the barn and into the everyday clothes drawer.
4. Strong brand loyalty.
You need to find reliable and durable brands for the tools, the equipment, and the items you use with your Self-Reliance activities. Backyard Farm folks are serious about what equipment they use. Sometimes, in this day and age, it could be hard to find a company that makes quality and stands behind its products. That is why when you do find one, to support them as best you can. And much like their genetic disposition to get up early, this brand loyalty is often passed on; whichever color tractor your dad prefers, will likely be your favorite.
5. Clear your calendars.
There is a time and a season for all things involved in Backyard Farming. And most of the time, it is every time and every season! Work for the farm comes before all other activities. Vacations, reunions, or getaways. The end. And for good measure, Amen.
6. Come and get it! The question is: When and where?
When you are maintaining a year-round Aquaponics System you will be able to find and plan on the times when you can harvest the vegetables that have matured. Save at least 15% of your bounty to harvest the seeds for the next go-arounds. As you gain experience with each type of plant you choose to grow you will be able to harness it to its fullest potential for you and your family.
7. Hold your horses, Holidays!
Your Backyard Farm kids will learn the virtue of patience early. No Christmas presents are opened, Easter eggs hunted, or Halloween candy tricked-or-treated until all of the chores are done.
8. Never, ever say these words: “I’m bored.”
Work really is never done on a Backyard Farm so boredom should be a rarity. But even if you are feeling the b-word, you don’t dare say so. That is unless you’re interested in more chores.
9. Shh… the weather’s on! Unless you are indoors
When the weather comes on, you’d better hush. A Backyard Farmer’s schedule, increase, and at times sanity are dependent on the uncontrollable – and might I add adorable – Mother Nature. When you have your Aquaponics System in the outdoors, and with your permaculture garden the weather can be a vex upon your mental stability. When you choose to bring as much as you can indoors, then you aren’t so beholden to the elements, but still, every Backyard Farmer has experienced this panic once or twice.
10. Know more about animals than you ever thought possible.
With experience, you learn to recognize signs of sickness, how to round up the animals, and the difference between Brahma, Marans, Leghorns, and Rhode Island Reds. Whichever type of animal or breed you take on for your Backyard Farm, you will inevitably get deeply interested in their well-being no matter if you intend to have them eventually on your dinner table.
Living and working on a farm is a special lifestyle. It’s not easy; it’s a labor of love.
We are here for you at ThatAquaponicsGuy! We are building the community to which we can draw upon in experience, knowledge, and know-how. Godspeed and God Bless!