We live in a small community, population 1300. Technically, we live in a village. Our little village has a grocery store, a couple of gas stations, a restaurant, bar, bowling alley, a school, a couple of parks, and several churches.
To get to one of those larger towns or small cities, we travel country roads lined with farms, corn fields, and soy bean fields.
Although hubby and I have put homesteading on the back, back burner, it’s no secret that I long for a home in the country with a big garden, small orchard and small farm animals. Even though I’ve seen these same farms and fields for many, many years, I still find myself examining each one as we drive by. I look for all those things I long to have on a homestead one day. Mostly though, I find myself asking, “Why, oh why?”
Why do so few of these farms have gardens?
Why aren’t there chickens roaming these farms?
Where are the goats or sheep?
Some have cows, horses and pigs, but for the most part they are nothing more than a home in the country. Homes with plenty of land for growing food, but no food being grown.
I realize that the majority of these farms are inhabited by farmers who are growing the corn and soybeans along these country roads. It’s how they make their living. Some of these farmers raise cattle or pigs for market, but aren’t raising food for their families. Why, oh why?
I know it shouldn’t bug me, but it does. Of course they have every right to farm and earn a living. After all, not everyone is going to raise their own food and someone needs to raise food for the masses. However, I see these farms with large plots of grass that must be mowed. Plots full of rich black soil for a garden and orchard. I see all the space for housing chickens and goats. Land that would be just perfect to do all the things I wish we could be doing.
One farm in particular has set vacant for as long as I can remember. At one time, I’m sure the home was a charming farm-house, now sitting empty and weathered with age. A home that would likely need to be torn down and a new home-built in its place.
Two barns also sit on the property, just longing for animals and bales of hay to take up residence. There is plenty of room for a garden and orchard and I ask why, oh why can someone allow this property to sit unused?
Until the day we are able to claim some land in the country as our own, I will continue to examine all the little farms I encounter in my travels. Farms that keep the dream alive. Farms that leave me asking, “Why, oh why?”
I’m right there with you… we want to live off the land, especially growing our food (plus raising chickens and gathering fresh eggs) and so far it’s unobtainable. So we do what we must… buy at farmer’s markets, plan, pray, and wait…
Yes, we do what we must and I feel less alone knowing there is someone else out there reaching for that seemingly unattainable dream. Someday I hope we are able to both able to see the reality of our own farms.