Monday, March 21, 2016

Monday, Round Three!

Dear Auntie Em,

My husband and I are nearing retirement, and we would like to sell our big suburban home and purchase a small farm out in the country. Do you have any advice?

Thanks in advance,

Mrs. Greenjeans

Dear Mrs. Greenjeans,

ARE YOU MAD????????

(Excuse me while I collect myself.)

Dear Mrs. Greenjeans,

Methinks you are romanticizing the idea of a farm. I blame Chip and Joanna, who make farming look cute.

Farming is anything BUT cute.

Farming is a lot of back-breaking work, generally done from sun-up to sundown. There are animals to feed and poop to clean up and trees to sucker and stuff to fertilize and protect from disease and pests and then, when all that is done, MOWING. The mowing alone could kill you!  Then you realize you don't have something you need and you have to drive twenty-five miles to the store and then twenty-five miles back, which has killed two hours of your day.

Like sex in the great outdoors, farming is a young person's game.

Might I suggest an alternative?

Buy a house in the country, perhaps with an acre of land. You don't want it too far out in the country; be sure there is a grocery store and drug store (or a combination thereof) within a 30-minute drive. Trust me on this. You're getting old and will need to refill scripts on a regular basis.

Don't plant anything you're not willing to sacrifice to the weather/deer/beetles. 
Buy a riding mower.

If you're still not feeling "farmy" enough, get some yard chickens. Maybe even a house chicken. (We had one, once. He imprinted on my sister as his mom and he lived in an old freezer basket on the kitchen table. We loved him. Then he got too big, so he had to go to a farm outside of town, where I believe he became dinner for someone. It was terrifying. There is no 'reunion' video of the chicken who recognizes his 'mom,' which would be cool. I think it's more like 'the chicken who becomes his mom's dinner.' Like the soccer players in the Andes, we were cannibals.)

Yard chickens are an idea we toy with here at Brandywine. We don't want a house chicken, as we have house cats and we're not sure how that would work out, but I can imagine the above scenario, only with the cats eating their 'brother.' There is a plethora of information all over the internet about backyard chickens. They can be work, but probably not as much as crops, plus they provide fresh eggs. A few backyard chickens would be just enough to make you feel like a farmer, I surmise, without the amount of work.  After all, we are talking about retirement.

A DIY chicken coop can be purchased through the  Sears mail order catalog  internet, as well...or you can just look at one and try to build it to match. (I am a big fan of looking at a picture and trying to copy it. My husband the engineer is not, which is why I never include him in these attempts, but wait until I finish to show him, at which point he just shakes his head. There is a lot of head shaking around here.) 

I believe, lovely Mrs. Greenjeans, that you are in love with the IDEA of farming, not farming itself. To the uninitiated, farming is peaceful and romantic and involves a lot of baby animals. In truth, farming is hard work and a lot of physical labor. Trust me.

Go in peace, Mrs. Greenjeans, and be assured that while farming isn't all it's cracked up to be, the fresh eggs are.

Auntie Em


Bliss said...

And a hospital. Close to a hospital, you know just in case. So now I have to give up sex in the great outdoors? You are sucking all the fun out of country life. Oh wait, I see.... it says farming involves hard work and a lot of physical labor, ok - so does sex in the great outdoors - I understand, hence being close to a hospital.

Linda @ it all started with paint said...

Farm is not in my vocabulary. I was thinking condo or townhouse with HOA fees for someone else to do the mowing and maintenance and such ... :)

andi filante said...

Sex in the great outdoors...ah, those were the days! This is brilliant!


Andrea said...

Well done! That ought to end the Green Acres vision. Sounds exhausting.

My uncle got ducklings, and they grew...and didn't leave! Now he is getting an egg a day from each of the six of them. I am the only one in the family who hasn't cooked with them yet (the eggs, not the ducks), but am getting some later in the week!

Tina@WhatWeKeep said...

I get allergic smelling hay! I just watched Green Acres the other day. Lisa really needed a bunch of blogger friends to help her spiff that dump up. Didn't you love it when she'd bundle up the dishes and throw them out the window?
I'm tired of cleaning dog poop, I'd never make it as a farmer. And you're right about the grocery and the Walgreen's. Forget it, Mrs. Greenjeans. Chip and Jo are definitely to blame! ; )

Rose L said...

When you retire you are supposed to DECREASE work, not add more! I like the idea of doing enjoyable things--and getting regular massages! ahhh yes!

Heidi @ Decor & More said...

And the house needs to be all one level -- no stairs! Just saying... :)
xo Heidi

Good Time Charlie said...

Every sentence in this post had me laughing loudly out loud! My husband "thinks" he would love to be a farmer. I will show him his post. Sex in the outdoors as well, too old!
Backyard chickens are a good idea. But make sure your city allows them. I have friends who have illegal backyard chickens in my town, it isn't all it's cracked up to be.....

Jean | said...

Auntie Em, I needed this! I DO romanticize farming (and lots of other things) and need to be reminded that I'm really "in love with the IDEA of farming (or whatever), not farming (or whatever) itself!"

Sweet Posy Dreams said...

I used to like the idea of a farm, but age and wisdom have beaten that out of me. My new dream is, as you say, about an acre of land, maybe even less if the backyard is private. A main floor master bedroom, a main floor laundry, and low maintenance (older folks shouldn't climb too high with paint cans!).

karen@somewhatquirky said...

Yes. Sex in the great outdoors is out. Unless there is a bed. I've given up sex in places besides beds. I am one of those who romanticizes farm life. My friend tells me I even romanticize having yard chickens. She says they suck in the snow. And that you can't go out of town. I don't know. I guess I'll have to trust you guys.

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