If you’re one of those people that’s lived your whole life in the city or even the suburbs, you’d be forgiven for not knowing a whole lot about farm life outside of what you might have seen on Farmer Wants a Wife! While that’s totally okay, we thought it might be nice to shine a light on what life is like when you grow up on a farm...because it sure is a bit different from what you might have experienced.
Your mum and dad become great at planning
As kids, none of us really think about where our next meal is coming from...we just simply expect to go to the pantry and find food there. When you’re in the country though, you do become more appreciative of the effort your parents need to go to put that food on the table.
For example, in the town I grew up (Wakool, NSW), my mum had to drive for more than 45 minutes to get even basic groceries. Needless to say, she was VERY organised as forgetting something meant you’d go without for the next week or two!
There’s always work to be done on the farm
When we were children, my two sisters and I played a lot but we also learnt the value of a hard day’s work from a young age. Every summer, we would walk through our vast rice paddies and pick out thousands of weeds. It was hard work but we knew that if we didn’t help out, there would be weed seeds in the crops for the next sowing season.
Helping on the farm just became part of our lives and although we might not have had as much play time as other children, we enjoyed being outdoors and being able to contribute to the farm life in a meaningful way.
Weeding wasn’t the only thing we did, either! As we grew, we helped with the sheep and cattle work in the yards as well.
The weather is your everything
If it rains in the city you live, you grab a raincoat and Bob’s your uncle. But if it rains on the farm your whole day, week or even month can change. For example, when we grow teff , we need to smooth the soil out (called boarding) before we plant the seed. If it rains too much, we can’t board it as the ground sets and becomes too hard for us to work with.
Conversely, no rain is also bad news! Our Teff crops rely on irrigation from the Murray-Darling basin, so if there isn’t enough water in that, our crops fail.
What I miss about farm life
Now I live between the city (where I run Outback Harvest) and the farm, I do miss many of the great qualities of country life! The two things I miss the most are the vast, never-ending glow of stars in the night sky, and the absolute silence of nothing but nature. When you’re on a farm, with no light or sound pollution, it’s the perfect place to sit outside and enjoy nature in its element.
Grab some of our delicious teff to try a bit of the farming life for yourself!