By Women Who Farm Team

April, 11, 2018

While there are many simple practices that are important in farm life, such as taking breaks, eating well and getting enough rest, there are a few life choices that cannot go unnoticed.

You may think to yourself, that because these simple tasks are so very simple that perhaps they should go to the bottom of the long to-do list. But however small these choices are, they are mighty, and guaranteed to change your life on the farm.  

Number One: On the little time you etch from farming, do only what nourishes you.

It is common for farmers to be working 10-14 hours in the height of the season, every day. Burn out, for most, is definite. 

Self care helps off set the inevitable. For some, that might mean not working after dinner, for others scheduling rest time doing something you truly love: going for a bike ride, hiking, Whatever you love to do, make time to do it. 

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Number Two: Prioritize organization.

Organize and minimize. Recycle and give away anything you haven't used in the last year. Make everything have a place and return it to it's place every time. 

When you organize your farm, everything becomes easier. When things have a place, you will be able to find them. Make sure they get put back. 

And this goes for ourselves and our bodies. Organize your day so that you have time to cook a meal using amazing ingredients that you produce on your own. Eating your own food is one of the best parts about farming. 

Number Three: Practice Mindfulness and Contentment

It is so easy to get over whelmed with everything that needs to happen throughout the days and weeks of farming. 

Mindfulness can help. When you are doing a task, just keep your mind on that task. Don't think about everything else that needs to be done. 

Make lists, write everything down that needs to be completed for the day, and then forget it. Just do one thing at a time. And when you do that thing, practice gratitude and contentment. 

Being content is a practice. It is a state of being that we can tap into by remembering that we have the option to be content right now.  

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Number Four: Self Sufficiency is a myth.

We all need each other. Especially on the farm, we can't do everything on our own. Make sure to call on family and friends. Hire people to help. Scale your farm appropriately, so you don't take on too much.

Although the do-it-yourself attitude is essential to the success of your farm, it is not do everything by yourself. Farming has always been a community effort.

Number Five: Keep it simple. 

It is easy to want to do ALL the things. Animals, produce, specialty crops, farm tours. All of this is a recipe for burn out. Keep it to one area at first. Start smaller than you want to be. If you can maintain your farm well, and you have market streams to venture into, then consider adding more. Doing something small really well, can produce a lot more than farming big and not being able to keep up with the maintenance. 

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Women Who Farm is an organization of volunteers, farmers, activists and artists who celebrate women of sustainable, organic farming.

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