Editors note: I am delighted to introduce to the Life Simplified Community Pamela Young, a woman with a vision. Living a passionate life makes the world a better place. Pamela and her husband Kelby were our guests today on Life Simplified Radio. This is their story. Enjoy.

Pamela & Kelby Young

Pamela & Kelby Young

My name is Pamela Young. I grew up in the suburbs. My parents were NOT farmers, My grandparents were NOT farmers. But like the rest of us, if you go back far enough in my heritage, you can find farmers.

It’s strange how the farmers in the world keep disappearing. Kids no longer grow up wanting to be farmers. Kids don’t learn farming skills growing up. Many generations have literally run from farming. I remember hearing my mother say something to the effect of “We didn’t work so hard to have you become a farmer”.

Perceptions of farmers are often low. People think of farmers as poor, people who are unable to get “normal” jobs. Or they were extreme hippies. Farmers were definitely not normal, and you never strived to be a farmer. At least that was the world I grew up in.

Olde Haven Farm

Olde Haven Farm

Fast forward several years, and guess what I want to be. Yep, a farmer. I see beauty in farming. I LOVE old barns and farmhouses. I LOVE spending time with animals—especially the sheep and goats.

I LOVE watching my husband when the pigs beg him to rub their pigs bellies. I LOVE eating veggies grown in my own garden. I LOVE being outside, with freedom to roam.

Olde Haven Goats and Sheep JanI am not meant to be in the city, or in the suburbs. I need air. I need space. I need land. And you know what….if this isn’t normal, then I don’t want to be normal. I want to be a farmer.

Did you know that the average age of farmers is close to 60? That number keeps rising. And the number of new farmers is constantly declining.

What happens when all the farmers age out of the industry? Who will be left?  [clicktotweet]

It’s clear to me that unless younger people get involved in farming, we risk losing farms all together. That’s a scary thought.

Eryn With Carrots Cover Photo 1000We cry foul when we hear of animals smushed in buildings, and chickens cramped in cages. We say we want our food to be grown as naturally as we can, with land to roam on and grass to eat. But those are just words. We can do something about it! We can buy local and support the farms in our communities.

We are Olde Haven Farm in Chelsea, Maine. We believe in knowing where our food comes from. We believe that our animals deserve a happy healthy life with the ability to do what comes natural to them.

Our chickens forage for bugs in the fields. Our sheep graze on lush green pastures with the goats near by. The ducks have access to ponds any time they want. We also believe in using the resources that our land provides for us, and being good stewards of our land.

This past year, we built a chicken coop And now we are building a barn:

New Barn Under Construction

New Barn Under Construction

We also have grand dreams of a working water system for the animals, additional paddocks for livestock and a hayfield. You can find additional information on all of our upcoming farm projects on our campaign page here. You can donate money to the farm for those projects on that same link.

This world needs more farmers. It is my hope that people start to think of farmers as noble. Young farmers are attempting to rescue society from the slippery slope we are on. Whatever you do, please support farms wherever you can.

Listen to The Life Simplified Radio show with Pamela and Kelby Young:

Do you grow your own vegetables, support a local farm or shop at a farmers market? What is your favorite meal with fresh ingredients? Post your favorites in the comments below. We would love to know!

One thought on “Living a Great Life on The Farm

  1. Darcy

    I am an Iowa born & raised farm gal who moved away from farming, studied computer science, & lived in large cities where the high paying jobs are. I miss living on the farm but I don’t miss the chores, going out in freezing cold temps to thaw out hog waterers, castrating pigs, cuttung tails & teeth, crating the sows due with litters so the sows don’t eat or step on her new born babies (don’t worry, sows were uncrated when piglets were weaned), cleaning pens in barn & outside pens, hauling straw bales to hog sheds for clean bedding, hay or silage to the cows There was always work to do with livestock, then after winter we helped plow land with tractor, Dad planted corn & soybean seeds, we kids made sure seed bags were ready when he ran out & we picked up rocks or mowed while waiting for Dad to finish planting. Unless us kids were in sports, we didn’t get to watch TV after school – we had chores to do or helped move equipment or ran a tractor ourselves. My summers were filled with walking beans, where we pulled weeds in soybean rows as we walked up & down the bean field. Eventually we carried heavy sprayer cans up & down those rows to spray weeds, then Dad bought a 3-seat “bean buggy” we drove up & down bean fields & sprayed weeds as we flew by. My brothers helped bale hay or straw in rectangular bales in heat of summer, with some of their town friends helping to earn money. Fall was harvesting where Dad ran the combine while Mom & us kids unloaded the crop into augers that dumped into grain bins or took full wagons to local co-op elevator to dump. Then high-tail it back to the field to haul more full wagons. Sometimes the weather was nice, sometimes windy & cold. But we had to get it done before winter rain & snow began & that meant working day & into night to get field done before it rained. Dad & my brothers repaired our equipment, our cars, house repairs, fences, hog sheds, etc. and only took equipment to implement dealer’s mechanic (or they came to farm) if it was a major repair. Farming is a hard life, so the rosy picture you described isn’t for everyone & food or money for new clothes or a car or a movie isn’t always possible. I was as excited for my parents as they were when they paid off their farm debt after they had retired & sold equipment to do so. We went fishing during Spring & Summer, AFTER the planting was done. Someine had to be hired to do hog chores & feed pets while we were gone. Grazing animals like goats, sheep, and cattle (not milkers) are much easier to raise than farrowing hogs or milking cows. Times have changed, there are tractors & planters bigger than our White 4-210 tractor, 2 Oliver 150 & 155 & 12-row JD planter. I’m proud to be a farmer’s daughter but it was HARD work!! I miss living on farm & the wide open spaces, the smell of freshly turned dirt, don’t miss the hog manure smell when wind is just right & I don’t miss walking beans (nobody does this anymore). I learned how to do things most women don’t want to do, I learned every tool and hardware available as I handed tools to Dad, I can run most farm equipment made before 1980 & probably figure out the “new” atuff. I love gardening, being outdoors, hime improvement projects, and animals. I can also fix cimputers & program software, My motto is “You can take a girl out if the country but you can’t take rhe country out of the girl!” and I’m proud of all the farmers in my family. But it isn’t as rosy a picture as you paint. Yes, there is a shortage of farmers and my city-folk friends don’t understand the farming way of life. Its usually ignorance that causes people to think they are better than other folks like farmers, ranchers, different races, different cultures. I’m glad you chose the farm life. You can join the rest of us who know the farm life to educate those who don’t. Your kids will learn responsibility, love, pain (when animals die), team work, multi-tasking, communication, grain market, how to save money, how to do without the latest cool gadget because you can’t afford it now, and more.

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