Sunday, March 9, 2014

One Woman Farm by Jenna Woginrich

Spending so much time nursing a newborn can be wonderful and challenging. I have quite a bit of time to read. On the other hand, I have a lot less time to get things done such as laundry, dishes and of course, writing.

Another great holiday gift that I received was One-Woman Farm by Jenna Woginrich. I have really enjoyed her other books and this one did not disappoint. One-Woman Farm has more of a coffee table book due to the lovely illustrations and sketches through out the pages as well as the diary style entries. The book takes us through a year on her farm with a separate introduction of each season. Her introductions are filled with beautiful prose and are my favorite part of the book.

Now this is not to say that the rest of the book isn't any good, it is. Her story is one of hard work and love. Some people may read this and think that she is romanticizing farm life but I disagree. She is in love with her farm and all the aspects of it. She may not love hauling feed bags but she loves that she is proving for her animals. Isn't that how life goes? Not everything is pleasurable but some times you just accept and muddle through the small unpleasantness of something because the results are great. I hate, seriously hate, getting all bundled up to let my chickens out of the coop on these cold days. Once bundled though, I trek out and open their door and feel a rush of contentment and peace. The chickens scurry around, looking for any treats or feed I might have brought.

This book has a lot less practical information but it made me think just as much as her other books. I have been interested in raising a few meat pigs and her entry on being present during the slaughter reminded me that I am going to have to figure out the slaughtering portion. Yes we can use a butcher but do we want the expense? Do I really want to butcher them myself? The answer is that for now, I don't want to do the slaughtering. The butchering, perhaps but I am not sure. How is it that I can shoot and gut my own deer but not do the same for a pig? I don't know. It is moments like this, when I think about "what needs to be done" that I feel like less of a homesteader. I don't butcher or process my chickens either. Could I? I would have no problem with the roosters or hens I am not attached to but there are a few hens, for whatever reason, that I am happy to let live out their many days, eggs or no eggs. Definitely not a farmer attitude. It makes me wonder if I will ever be able to be self sufficient.

The other major pondering point for me was regarding getting a milking goat. At this point in my life, a cow would simply be too much. A milking goat would be more up my alley. Listening to her share her experience with milking a goat twice a day, every day reminded me that until I am done nursing babies, I am not prepared to get one. I am just not. I don't know if I will ever be. Plus goats require companionship and high, durable fences, neither of which we currently have.

This book was a fantastic read. I really enjoyed the farm life "snapshots" each entry provided. Have you read this book? What do you think?

This article was shared on The Prairie Homestead, The Backyard Farming Connection, Home Acre Hop, Frugal Days, From the Farm Blog Hop, The Chicken Chick, Backyard Farming Connection, Tilly's Nest,
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  1. Oh, I think Suzanne McMinn reads Jenna's blog. Suzanne also has a one woman farm in West Virginia called Sassafras Farm, and her blog is called Chickens In The Road. I think I would really like to read this book and Suzanne's book too. Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. I love finding out about new books to read and new authors. Thanks for sharing your post on the HomeAcre Hop. Hope to see you again tomorrow! - Nancy The Home Acre Hop


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