Sunday, December 1, 2013

Taking a Break - Vacations

I know of many small family and small farmers who are loathe to leave their farms or take a break. Why? I hear various reasons. And if you're already wondering, yes, I'm one of those guilty of hating to leave the place. For real! 

Here's some of the excuses and reasons that I hear:

1- "The farm needs me." Some of us crazy farmers have an inner feeling that the farm needs us to thrive. We become the caretaker, or even the tending slave. I think it's a responsibility thing. I created it, thus I need to keep it going sort of mentality. Willing farm slave, yup. Many of us become that. 

2- "I need to be there to run the farm. Nobody can run it as well as I do." Ah, the controller personality. They need to make the decisions, control the reins. Who could possibly feed the livestock on time or turn on the irrigation? No one could do it as well as they could. 

3- "I'm happy on the farm." I hear this one a lot. A couple of my friends tell that their farm work makes them happy. They are content tending their place. Thus they have no desire to leave. 

4- "I feel safe on my own farm." Some fear the outside world where it is hectic, confusing, and all too often unsafe. The farm is a safe haven. 

5- "I don't like to leave." Or, "I don't want to leave." Is this our basic primate instincts surfacing? Reluctant to leave our home territory? 

6- "Too difficult to recover from being away." Of course things don't often run exactly the way we like when we're away. So there will be lots to catch up on, like weeds to pull, manure to clean up, mulch to replenish, crops to sow, crops to harvest, etc. 

7- "Too much to do to get ready to leave." Many of us crazy farmers try to get tasks set up ahead of time, knowing that we won't be there to do them ourselves. So we spend extra hours pre-filling livestock feeders, sowing extra trays in the greenhouse, running mowers, spraying crops ahead of schedule. We set things up ahead of time so that caretakers don't have to work as hard as we do. 

When I ask why farmers don't leave their farms to go on vacations, they usually cite many or all of the above excuses although one is often more heavily influential in their reasoning than the others. 

And what about me? What's the root reason for my own reluctance to leave? I guess #5 is the base issue. Once I'm popped off of the farm, I thoroughly enjoy traveling, seeing foreign places, doing new things, exploring. But that leaving process is difficult for me. I suppose it's not only simple instinct with me but also genetically enhanced. My mother's side of the family tended all to be homebodies. And my paternal grandparents lived in one house for their entire married lives until forced to give it up due to advancing age. The only place they ever vacationed was the same area in Florida over and over again. None of my relatives were world travelers. Most seldom, if ever, went on trips. So it's in my DNA somehow. 

But all this doesn't mean that a break isn't beneficial. For me  break can be refreshing, kick start my mental motor and inner drive, help me look at the farm from new perspectives, cause new ideas to pop into my head. Usually after a vacation, I'm eager to get back work. 

I just returned from a short two and a half day vacation to Oahu. I missed being home every night, but did enjoy the days. The trip reminded me how much I enjoy living in my area of Hawaii. At this stage of my life there is no way that I'd want to live on Oahu! But it's fine for a visit. 


  1. How about, "no one knows how to milk goats," LOL. Sad but true. Your advice, however, is well put and you've busted all our excuses! So glad you enjoyed your getaway. I'm guessing Oahu is extremely urbanized(?) Probably not as appealing to us country types as other places on the islands.

    Please do drop by my blog to see what I'm excited about! And maybe consider entering my book giveaway. :)

  2. Funny, but the same excuses can be applied to just about any job...No one else can do it better than we can!

    I agree with you about Oahu/Honolulu...Love to visit for a day or two; experience a couple of good restaurants; luxuriate in a hotel not having to do anything for myself if I don't feel like it; shop the stores (no Williams-Sonoma on our island!); ...and last but not least...visit Chinatown. I love to take a stroll in Chinatown and try to visit any time I'm in Oahu.