As a first generation farmer when I got into farming i thought the knowledge information gained about farming from reading was sufficient to make me way more successful than the average farmer… But i was completely wrong. The humbling experience you have when your textbook knowledge comes crumbling down is just the start of several life lessons you can get and this has completely changed my perspective about life and people. Here are some of the important lessons that farming taught me.
This was the primary lesson I learnt after I got into farming. As I began to realize each farm had almost its own personality, The soil, the water, the moisture in the air, the temperature in that ecosystem, The microorganisms in that soil were all different for different pieces of land. The more time you spend on the farm the more connected you become with the farm to realise how much more you need to know and begin to respect the indigenous knowledge knowledge of those “uneducated” farmers whom you initially thought were inefficient . Now I know I need to be more respectful to the indigenous knowledge.
2. Great Things Take Time
Just like in life, there are many circumstances that just seem to be beyond our control. Farming makes you realise that there may be better things in store after the storm, after all, every season yields different results. But as we learn to accept little disappointments in life and be patient, we begin to take life in its stride accepting the current outcome and go ahead with the hope that maybe, a bigger outcome is in store for us.
One main lesson you learn from Farming is patience. The Patience to accept what was, what is and what will be. And in case if we will ever fail, patience also teaches us to start and wait all over again.
3. Working Hard and Having Fun Can Happen at the Same Time
It may look to the onlooker that farming is a laborious business. But you realize with time hard work doesn’t necessarily equate to boring work.
Farming is a bit like parenting, The joy you get when you see your crops bearing fruits can only be equated to seeing children growing up successfully. The joy is far more exemplified when you eat the fruits given by the crops for you. There are a very few things that can match the satisfaction and joy that you get out of eating clean organic food from your own garden grown with your hard work and enriched with your sweat.
4. Pay it Forward with Generosity
Generosity is freely sharing what we have with others, be it money, help or time. As we interact closely with our farming communities, and neighbour’s, we realize that for the farmers, this act is spontaneous.
It is heartwarming to see the farming community finds joy in giving and that inspires us also to live a little bit below our means so we can give a bit more to others. Being generous is good for the giver as much as it is for the receiver.
5. Life Actually Is Sweet
Though the Life in a farm is not easy it can be simple and sweet. Cultivated well, a farm can give us everything that we need to survive and an access to real and good food to be enjoyed with people who are important and close to us.
Responsibility is one key quality that Farming teaches you. As a farmer, you have to grapple with so many entities which mandates you to develop responsibility to ensure the needs of your farm are met. You then learn that responsibility is important in everything you do.
7. Keeping up the faith in your work.
Farming is hard, there is no question about it. In order to continue, you have to have faith. You learn that faith is the basis of every endeavour you face.
8. Farming can improve your listening Skills.
Well not “listening” literally but your ability to observe the surroundings and take appropriate actions. As you have to listen to your heart to know what steps to take and you listen to your gut when making decisions. You listen to your animals to know what it is they need. The truth is, you become a person who can listen which is very important skill to have.
9. Working for future generations.
Farming makes you realise that yo are the one not only responsible for feeding the world for years to come. You are also be the right inspiration for your children to follow in your footsteps. And your children and your future generation will thank you.
10. Planning and achieving a goal.
Farming is all about timing. You have to plant when you have to plant, Water when you have to water, de-weed when you have to de-weed, apply fertilisers when you have to, manage pests when it hast to and harvest when you have to. In order to meet your tasks, you must have a plan in place and the willpower and persistence to follow that plan. Farming teaches you not to take things lightly as you may have to pay a big price for your carelessness.
11. Problem solving and critical thinking.
Each day, you are faced with a challenge. You have to learn how incorporate critical thinking in order to solve problems in the most efficient way possible. As you realise in farming there is no one size fits all solution. You have to be ready with the specific solution to your specific problem working within specific parameters.
12. Understanding the value of every Rupee.
Farming makes you realise that you have to be conscious of what it takes to have strong monetary skills. As you learn about the value of money you also realise that not all about money. You begin to realise that there is no monetary value on happiness; therefore proving you are when you farm you make just make than money. You farm because you love it, which teaches a valuable lesson regarding everyday life. Not everything is about money.
13. Persistence is a key quality.
One of the key qualities in the life of a farmer is persistence. No matter how high input prices get, or how low the market prices get, you have to push through. This persistence is bound to show through in every task you face.
14. Being humble in good times and strong during the bad.
As with anything else, there are going to be good times and bad. With farming, it is more pronounced than other industries. So it is important to stay humble when things are good because in a blink of an eye, things can turn negative. More importantly, you learn that you must stay strong during the bad times. The way you handle bad times will define how you will get through. You will also get stronger to endure more challenges for years to come.
15. Respect – elders, land, animals, and nature.
As you get more into farming, You will begin to respect those who have farmed before you. You respect the livestock and land and the all powerful nature. You begin to realise these qualities enable your to provide for your family. This is something that will never leave you.
16. Pride in your work and contribution to society.
Being a farmer instills into you is something you will never be able to replace. With fewer and fewer people being directly involved in agriculture, you begin to realise your worth. You begin to understand you are a rarity. You begin to realize you have it in you to do what other only talk of The pride you have for your lifestyle inspires you to work hard to be the best person you can possibly be..
17. Procrastination is very costly
When you own a farm with livestock, you realise that the Livestock can’t wait to be fed or given water at your leisure. Those animals depend on you for their sustenance and well-being. When a cow needs to be milked, it has to be milked. When a drought hits and crops need to be watered in order to survive, you don’t have the luxury of resting or entertainment. Or you cant put off the work because it is too hot outside for your comfort and you can wait for the weather to become pleasant for you to work. There is a certain level of inflexibility that exists on a farm – procrastination is not a possibility when it comes to keeping animals alive and crops growing.
Credits : This article first appeared on the farming lifestyle blog http://www.ilovefarm.life/