While most kids grow up playing with toy animals and farmhouses, the lucky few are born into the real thing. The sons and daughters of farmers receive an education in hard work and dedication that school curriculums can never match. And while it may not always be glamorous, anyone who’s had the experience knows they wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
Here are ten things you’ll only know if you were lucky enough to grow up on a farm.
Bale twine is the solution
If you had a penny for every problem that couldn’t be solved with bale twine you’d have... not many pennies. This ingenious farmyard tool was something you tried never to leave home without, as anything from oversized trousers to lost dog leads could be fixed with a little help from bale twine.
‘Snow days’ were for other people
While your classmates would hope and pray for it to snow so much they’d be given the day off, you knew there was never any hope for you. With a 4x4 and a tractor, snow was no match for mum and dad, no matter how many times you’d say, “but my friends are getting the day off!”
Early mornings are no problem for you
Years of enforced early rises have meant that you’re great at waking up early. Though there were times when you hated your parents for forcing you out of your warm bed, now you love having the edge on all your non-farmer friends when it comes to early starts.
You know your way around a tractor
Having driven tractors since practically before your first steps, you see yourself as the Lewis Hamilton of the farmyard. During school holidays your friends might have felt sorry for you knowing you’d be stuck on the farm, but you weren’t complaining when you were taking your dad’s chunky wheels for a spin.
The weather is not to be taken lightly
You quickly learned that daily life on the farm was at the mercy of the elements. This meant that keeping abreast of the weather was a necessity that demanded a near-religious devotion.
Hay bales are so much more than animal fodder
Who knew hay could be so much fun? There were few things more fun than making tunnels, jumping from haystack to haystack or getting involved in epic hay fights as a youngster on the farm.
Farming is second nature to you
You’ve practically been on a farming apprenticeship since the day you were born, so you know you’ll always have skills you can put to use. From an in-depth knowledge of different farming methods to a familiarity with different livestock breeds that’d make even the best auctioneers jealous, you know your stuff.
You learned the value of hard work early
While it seemed like your friends received pocket money for merely existing, you had to earn your money. With so many jobs to do on the farm, there was always something to do. And these early experiences have given you an appreciation of the value of hard work.
You are only too familiar with the miracles/horrors of childbirth
There was no story about the stork dropping babies into the world for you. Instead, your childhood came with a front row seat to a long series of caesareans, retained placentas, calving jacks and rotting afterbirth that put you under no illusion as to what childbirth was about.
Nothing smells better than freshly mown silage
You’ve smelled many things in your life, but nothing compares to that magical aroma of mown silage. If there was a perfume or aftershave named Eau de silage, you’re not ashamed to say – you’d buy it.
Here’s to nostalgia
Growing up on the farm certainly has its ups and its downs. But would we ever swap our muddy childhoods for one in the concrete of the city? Certainly not. Whether you stayed on the farm through adulthood or not, the farm stays with you. That means that you have an appreciation for the simple things in life that your non-farming friends simply don’t. That’s worth far more than a few snow days.