The way out here

Happy wife, happy homestead

By HUNTER HILL
Posted 5/25/22

I often refer to the camera roll on my phone when looking back at the past week or so, as I’m deciding on a topic to share.

While it’s always fun to talk about those quirky stories …

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The way out here

Happy wife, happy homestead

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I often refer to the camera roll on my phone when looking back at the past week or so, as I’m deciding on a topic to share.

While it’s always fun to talk about those quirky stories that come up, there’s a common factor in many of them that may or may not get mentioned.

I’m talking, of course, about my wife, who shows up either on the edge of the photo, trying to duck out of the way, or who happens to be a focal point of the activity. She’s not one to appreciate her own likeness, so for my readers who may see her, be sure to keep it a secret that I used her photos in the paper.

To be honest, we have a lot going on right now with getting the farm rolling and preparing to open for Memorial Day weekend at the farm stand. There are a dozen-and-a-half of our current projects I could have written about—and may still—but what has kept our family and myself above water has been my fantastic partner.

One of our more recent achievements, nearly two years in the making, was to have completed the assembly of our 100-foot hoop house for this year’s market vegetable crop. Neither of us had ever put one of these together before. While we each had a few friends and resources for figuring out what we were supposed to do with the pile of arches and hardware we initially acquired, the majority of the work was completed by the two of us.

What makes her contributions on this project even more impressive is the fact that our entire basement has become her planting nursery. Had she not done her research and put in the time every day to attend to the thousands of seedlings and sets down there, we wouldn’t even have plants of our own to fill the newly completed hoop house. But as it is, even in the wake of giving birth to our second son in December, my wife has rocked our business endeavors like an honor student looking for extra credit.

For a country guy, a farmer, a hunter, and any other label that may apply, this life we live is not meant to be done in solitude. Homesteading is largely the basis of our lifestyle. And while some look at that term as a definition for self-sufficiency or just independence, we look at it through the word within the word: Home. Home-steading.

If I had to go out and take care of crops every day and do all the manual labor, there would be a great emptiness to the effort. Much of what makes the work fun and the results meaningful is the camaraderie of our joint industry. Looking up between swings of the hammer or between picking rocks from the field and seeing your person doing the same, in the thick of it alongside you, brings the home wherever you happen to be. Sometimes it’s in the field, sometimes in the barn, and often enough it’s in the car between any of the dozen errands that come as a result of farm life.

It’s a special and unique thing, but on the other side of that coin is the ability for anyone to enjoy these simple pleasures. Maybe you live out here but don’t have a garden or livestock to care for. It’s as simple as doing yardwork together; one of you can mow, the other can weed-whack. The idea is simply to be present for each other, to make the work you have feel lighter, and to fill each other’s souls with the motivation that comes from operating as one flesh.

The Bible said it best in Proverbs 31:10-11, “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.”

When I think of my wife, my partner, I can only regard her as my most valuable resource, without whom I cannot imagine any aspect of my life. The way out here we work hard for our wives, we work hard beside our wives, and as a result, oftentimes we don’t really feel like it’s work at all. If you want to know what this looks like, well, stop by our stand this Memorial Day weekend on the Beach Lake Highway and see what I mean.

Chelsea Hill writes a monthly column, Farmer’s Take, for the River Reporter opinion page. It can be found here: www.riverreporter.com/farmers-take/

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