may day 2014
… and all is quiet.
This time last year our farm was teeming with life, as our dairy cows and calves were all over the place feeding on lush green grass. This year it is rather quiet, as there are no animals left on our farm but a few cats.
Takes some getting used to, but as it has now been this quiet since mid December last, we are slowly coming to terms with the fact that the cows are gone for good. We do miss them though.
Even a small farm like ours is labor intensive at times, and we are not getting any younger. For years we had talked about, and discussed when, and how, to end farming, but the way it actually ended was not planned.
I ended up in hospital back in November last year, and from one day to the next my wife had to run it all herself. I would be out of action for 6 months to a year, and she soon saw no other alternative but to quit farming altogether right there and then.
Situation being what it was, no-one can blame her for making that decision. And, it is her farm, and her decision to make. More and more it seems like it was the best decision too, despite it being very hard to make.
As mentioned above, it takes some getting used to the empty fields and farm-roads. After nearly five months we have reached the point where I can write about it without feeling sad, and more decisions are made for how to go forward from here.
Cattle will soon again roam around on these fields, with the difference that they will not be our own animals. Other farmers in the area need more land for pasture, and they will be renting most of ours.
Woodland on our farm will be maintained as normal, providing us with a small income now and then in the years to come. Farm-roads will also be maintained so we can get around with our small farm machines, taking out firewood as we want and need to, or just drive and walk around and enjoy nature simply because we want to.
There will be plenty to do on our farm in the years to come, but farming will no longer control our lives as much as it has in the past.
My wife's “rhododendron collection” will likely get more attention than it has in the past, along with all kinds of flowers and roses and bushes that I don't know the names of.
Having a farm with no animals of our own that need daily care, provides us with great freedom. We can now literally “come and go as we like” without planning much, which has not been possible over the 19 years period I have lived here.
Now we can travel whenever and wherever we like to, together. And we can relax and watch the grass grow or snow fall – depending on season, without having to do anything about it unless we want to.
I am really looking forward to it, as does Gunlaug.
last rev: 01.may.2014