We get a lot of agricultural mail: weekly newspapers, monthly magazines, parts catalogues, bills, etc. Today, however, we received an invitation to subscribe to Hobby Farming magazine. We even were sent cute little return address labels with fuzzy sheep, red barns, and an alpaca (or a llama. . .I don't know which one, but it has a long neck.). However cute these labels are, the premise of this magazine is funny to me, as we are not in this biz for a walk in the park.
So, it got me to thinking. . . who is?
Who are these mythical, mysterious hobby farmers, and what are their real jobs? Moreover, why would they choose such a labor intensive, costly, and frustrating hobby?
In my research on this magazine (i.e. googling Hobby Farming magazine and reading a few articles.), I am understanding hobby farmers are those who aren't investing hundreds of thousands of dollars on equipment, seed, land, and/or operating loans. These folks are just hanging with their animals, probably in a small area, treating them as pets. They're gardening, probably (well, definitely) more successfully than my gardening attempts. They're enjoying the land because they are not having to pay their power bills off of it.
This realization of farming for the simple enjoyment of the land and its beasts made me look at the farmers in our gang of land lovers. Do they have a hobby? The answer is yes and no, I guess. Luckily, these guys are doing something they enjoy, so a hobby seems a little unnecessary. When one is accomplishing something during the day and enjoying what he is doing, then why would a day on the golf course be necessary? If you're spending a lovely fall day by enjoying it with your cattle in a pristine pasture, then why would you equate relaxation with something like hunting? So, I guess my farmers don't need hobbies. . .they may think that they're hooey.
However, I am a hobby girl. I love running. I love reading. I used to scrapbook. . . until I had Amelia. . .poor picture and sticker deprived child. I love shopping. I think I'd like to golf. I would like to keep up playing the piano. I guess it sounds like a do a lot of messin' around. However, activities such as these keep me sane. They keep me who I am. They keep me whole.
So, should Farmer Joe take up skeet shooting? Probably not, but I do believe that these guys, when the season is right, and the markets are up, and the stars, moon and sun are all in the correct alignment should take up something just for their own sanity and enjoyment. One that's end result doesn't affect our bottom line.
But for now, I'll just toss the magazine subscription, even though it's cheap (they understand farmers and their bank accounts!), keep the stickers for the girls, and if you receive a note from me, expect an alpaca (or llama) return address label.