Hobby Farms: Why My Family’s Time Means Nothing to Me
There are a lot of pros and cons to hobby farms. I don’t know what they are. I did little to no research before starting a hobby farm, to the detriment of my relationship with my wife, my relationship with my children, and my relationship with the laws of the land. But since I own this land, I make the laws. My first rule is that even though we’re not making any income or benefiting from it in any way, the hobby farm is my family’s first priority.
A Hobby Farm is a Serious Time Commitment
Our meager human concept of time has no place on a hobby farm. The Earth breathes in seasons and belches in epochs. An hour is nothing. Only the Sun is real. My body is having a harder time adjusting to my new sleep schedule, but my brain is operating at 140% minimum.
We’ve only grown mung beans, lemons, and eggs so far, but my cholesterol is down and I’ve lost 16 lbs. My wife is mad because she only lost 2 lbs. and the kids each lost 10, but homesteading is hard work and it’s all going to be fine. Stone fruit season is coming soon, and the goats are getting nice and fat. We’ll bulk up on peaches and goat legs like our forefathers did back when men were men.
I took the kids out of school when the teachers started asking questions about the peck marks on their arms. They don’t understand that I’m trying to instill a sense of rugged individualism in my children by telling them to gather eggs before dawn. My wife says I need to take the kids to the doctor or else. I told her that she should do it, since she’s an expert in henpecking.
With great responsibility comes great investment. I invested my time. Then I realized that I don’t want to do that. I work all week, and I’m really sleepy after staring at a computer all day.
I invested my family’s time. My wife left me before the second harvest, so I’m only seeing the kids on weekends. Saturday and Sunday are the two days my kids have off from adults telling them what to do all day, which means 28.5% of their week is being wasted playing video games. I played video games growing up, and look how I turned out: I have a hobby farm and force my children to pick eggs at 5am instead of getting enough rest for their soccer scrimmage at 9am.
I even invested the time of neighbor children by tricking them into working my farm as a game. I’m today’s Tom Sawyer, a modern-day warrior. That’s what I mean when I say “start small”: Children are my surest bet for keeping this hobby farm running.
I asked my daughter’s friend, Chelsea, to run my farm’s social media. My boss’s kid is now technically my intern, because he’s helping me recruit more children for the farm. I’m … yep, I’m running a slave labor camp. Yep. That’s what’s happening.
Keep It Cash Only
Look, I’m just running this farm as a hobby. That’s why it’s not called a jobby farm. I’m a regular man who sells blackberries and garlic at my farm stand. It has a cash box that runs on the honor system. If I happen to sell a few thousand worth of produce every week, that doesn’t hurt anyone. If I happen to sell $48 worth of produce every week while my college buddy gets a lucrative side-gig laundering money through his pill clinic, that is also not hurting anyone. Except the kids. Blackberry bushes are unbelievably thorny. But that’s why there’s pills for that.
Images by Allison Mack