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.
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 ran 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.
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.
I 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?
It’s clear to me that unless younger people get involved in farming, we risk losing farms all together. That’s a scary thought.
We 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:
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: http://igg.me/at/oldehavenfarm/x/12923016. 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.
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!