It’s spring time again, and though the temperatures here in south central Virginia have tried their best to convince us that summer has arrived the truth is that gardening season is just beginning. This past weekend while tending to my garden I began reflecting on how much work there is to do each spring, and how this is my absolute favorite time of year. If you haven’t lived this type of life it is impossible to fully understand all the effort that goes into having a successful harvest, maintaining various pieces of equipment, preparing for the arrival of whatever spring babies your homestead may have and generally just shaking off the lingering reminders of the recently ended winter.
None of this is news to any family that has actually dabbled in homesteading but could there be another group of folks anywhere that have a more varied skillset than that of a homesteader?
We are mechanics; who else is going to take care of the multitude of equipment required to maintain a homestead? I’m sure any of us would go broke if we couldn’t fix at least the minor gremlins that inevitably get shipped with each and every small engine ever made.
We are lumberjacks; most of us at times will need to break out the chainsaw from time to time to fell some trees, or at the very least to cleanup some of the firewood mother nature will inevitably put on the ground for us.
We are veterinary technicians; (notice I don’t say veterinarians, as I will not take anything away from those that are properly trained that even the best of us must turn to for help at times) but most of us will need to administer at least some medications, wormers, and of course treat cuts and scrapes.
We are first aid first responders; try going a whole spring without a sprain, cut, burn or blister.
We are protectors; of our family, our livestock, our home and our earth.
We are gardeners, arborists and landscape technicians.
We are salvage experts and inventors.
We are painters.
We are fence erectors.
We are carpenters.
We are machinists.
We are no doubt many more things than this short list. I simply wanted to remind each of us that we are a very unique group of individuals, capable of almost anything. When the work gets hard this spring, and your back, arms, feet, legs and toenails are all burning and aching remember why we put ourselves through all of this each and every year.
My family and I are with all of you and take pride in knowing there are many, many of us crazy enough to take on this burden so that at the end of the day we may be proud of what we’ve accomplished.
Please take a moment to share with me what other roles you find yourself playing on your homestead.