May 25, 2011, 7:54 am
Filed under: May 2011
Leading the way

May 25, 2011

     The ewe in the foreground is Persephone. She leads the flock and comes when I call her. She makes moving sheep a very easy task. She has been my helper for ten lambing seasons. She is an old lady now, who still commands respect, yet seems to love her flock.
     I have been shown the way in life by many people. My parents and grandparents taught me many life lessons and my mother made sure I stayed on the narrow path. I was mentored by former bosses who employed me as a farm hand and by a wonderful country veterinarian. I learned things while growing up that made me what I am today. Most of the time, I didn’t even know that I was being taught a life lesson … well except for when mom was directing my feet back to the narrow path 😮
     I was helped out by many older teamsters when it came to horses. I was taught to plow by a couple of guys. Others taught me the skill and art of logging. One looked after me like a son and shared many insights that he had learned over time. I am grateful to these men, most of whom have passed from this life to greener pastures and divine horses where furrows are always straight.
     I too have taught a few people, some purely by accident. This morning I got an e-mail from my nephew. He lives outside of a city in a quiet neighborhood. He just started to garden, is raising fish and even a few laying hens. His heart lies in the country too. He thanked me for teaching him not only how to do things, but also to love what you do. His fish provide an aquaculture that waters his garden through a sort of gray water system. The water nourishes the plants, gets filtered and then goes back into the fish pond. I didn’t teach him that cycle, but did try to impress upon him the cycle of life.
     I didn’t sit my nephew down and cram his head with farm ideas and lessons. Instead I had him stay with us a few summers where he did chores, baled hay and shoveled manure. He played in the woods, helped build a cabin and learned to be a man. I am proud of him. Our last real visit was while he was on leave from the Marine Corps. He now is a husband, a daddy and going to school to further his career while trying his hand at urban farming.
     Just as Persephone leads my flock, I try to impart wisdom and confidence upon my farm’s visitors and family. Leadership and mentorship are best done quietly and confidently with a glad heart. I love what I do, so it is easy to share the positives, but I will also share the negative side. Life lessons are best learned when you don’t really know that you are being taught. I can’t say enough about all the good people who helped me along the way, so rather than try to talk about it, I share what I have learned to honor them.
     I urge my readers to share what you do best with someone you know. You will never know who you will touch or how far that person may go. My children have a great connection to the land and their food. They have a pretty good idea how to farm and in the best example of my mom, they also know how to walk the narrow path.

2 Comments so far
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Thanks again Uncle Beaver.

Comment by Jason Becker

We started our first “garden” today! we planted green peppers and banana peppers and strawberries…in our flower bed lol but I figure we have to start somewhere

Comment by Brittany

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