I didn’t grow up farming. I grew up in the city. We did have a garden, dogs and a few chickens, and they helped create some of my best memories. I remember laying in the garden, in the shade of the corn rows, watching ladybugs fly from plant to plant. Taking the dog for a walk, and we later taught her to pull us with our roller blades on. I remember when my brother found a praying mantis, we watched it for hours waiting for it to move. I now see my daughter having similar moments, and the farm girl in her makes me so happy.
We have a self proclaimed 4 year old farm girl. She has asked us several times when she will be old enough to be able to milk by herself. She washes her hands nearly every time I milk so that she milk a few squeezes into the bucket. Ask her anything you want to know about a goat’s udder and teats, and I bet you she will know the answer.
Many tasks or things that NEED to be done, she enjoys and looks forward to. Last week she proudly proclaimed at dinner, “I have lots of chores to do now!” It really helped to change my perspective, and I try to look forward to my chores now. Some of her favorite chores are; bottle feeding the goat kids, collecting eggs, stirring the pot while I’m cooking, feeding the goats fallen leaves from the trees, fill up the water barrels, feeding the rabbits and fish, throwing scratch for the chickens, gathering scraps for compost, riding on the tractor while daddy mows the lawn, and even helps set the gopher traps. Not the typical chores you would hear from a 4 year old, but she is learning to appreciate hard work rather than dreading chores.
She wanted so badly to be able to see a birth, and was lucky enough to see two this year. Our ewe, White, that had quads, and our goat Fawn. Fawn ended up rejecting her kids, and our farm girl was so helpful. With Fawn’s birth she ran to grab more towels and help clean the babies off. She helped carry the kids out of the pasture so we could get them colostrum right away, and has taken over bottle feeding her baby Tink.
She has a growing love of responsibility, and I’m trying hard not to squash that. One major bonus of this homestead journey is the huge opportunity we have to teach our children to have a love of hard work and the satisfaction that it brings.