There is always something to do on a farm. Even when you fix everything that is broken, there is preventative maintenance to do: greasing equipment, treating wood handles, sharpening…. If you get all of the preventative maintenance done, there is always something that could be improved. Better soil, better fences, better drainage, better water, all of this makes a better farm.
Often, my mind joins my hands and is consumed in the work. Other times, the work itself (like driving a tractor) lends itself to watching things, to learning. Here are some of the things I learned alone on the farm:
- Honeybees are a living example of the Christian lifestyle. They work and work to have a surplus of the food stores they need to survive. Even when they give away 2/3 of what they make, they have plenty left for themselves.
- Thousands of honeybees work in perfect harmony with each other toward a common goal. Best as I can tell, excluding queen selection, they never argue in spite of making countless daily decisions that will determine their survival.
- Border collies work when they are hurt.
- On the farm, it is obvious that death in its full meaning is at work every day. Wood rots, metal rusts, moths destroy and the cute field mouse eats next season’s seeds.
- Life will force its way through rock.
- Left alone, the plants that I don’t (or can’t) eat will overtake the plants that I can eat.
- The honeybee makes honey for the survival of the honeybee colony. The beekeeper only manages surplus.
- A good file is more valuable than a new axe.
- A bucket of bolts and screws saves a bunch of trips to the hardware store.
- I can track the season by what is blooming.
- Good soil is better than the best fertilizer.
- This year’s potato harvest has to last until next year’s potato harvest.
- Acquaintances are indirectly proportionate to the work that needs to be done.
- Friends are directly proportionate to the work that needs to be done.
### Brandon Blankenship, On the farm.