Raising kids is the ultimate experiment (especially on the farm)

As I continue our blogging journey, I’ll begin to introduce our family members and some of their experiences. Some have been heartbreaking, but with the heartache there are many memorable moments that encourage you to continue! We have learned to appreciate the good just a little bit more, because life is not always perfect on the farm. The biggest lesson that I think everyone must acknowledge is that not all those “pretty pictures” that are shared show the full story behind farming! Now after reading that…. I’ll add that all of our experiences also include our children and they are not sheltered 100% from the sometimes

“raw” moments.

I’ll introduce our son first… Carson! He is a loving 10 year old young man that is quickly approaching his teenage years. He has as much drive to keep this farm going as much as we do, but is also the most sensitive. He is always there to lend a hand and be by our side! The realization of raising our own meat hit him the hardest. It wasn’t as easy for him to see our animals turn into our meals, this is our way of life and the disassociation between what people eat is unrealistic. He now has a sense of pride for the ability to provide for his family, friends, and others! Then there was a moment, that put everything in perspective. This is how I just knew we were raising our children right…. Carson, being the sensitive soul that he is; seemed upset when I picked him up from school one day. I looked over and asked him what was wrong? He processed to tell me that he was upset, because he saw a kid throw away his entire burger from lunch. I knew where he was going with this, so I quietly listened. He looked down and explained to me how sad he was, because that animal was wasted and didn’t have a purpose. I took a breath and put my arm around him, because I never thought about it that way. I knew that he understood what it took to raise that animal and how much care they required. He taught me something too and I sure as heck am never going to forget that!

Now, on to the Princess who wears tutus and thunder boots…. Miss Ella! She is the most nurturing child I have ever met! Ella is our 7 year old girl that is unlike any other. She brings the light and laughter to every situation and makes herself seen and is pretty hard to forget. God truly blessed us with such a sweet child. She has a connection with every animal here on the farm, from a day old baby chick to a 400lbs Boar; size or breed doesn’t matter. I often find her with her chickens. She has named all 40 of them and knows when one is missing. This in fact is how I knew we were doing the right thing. One day Ella found one of her sweet little chickens laying down and barely hanging on. She quickly picked her up and did her best to Doctor her baby up, but she knew she was too far gone. I walked over to see if I could assist, but with tears in her eyes she said that she didn’t want her to suffer anymore and asked if I could cull her. I am personally not a fan of “culling” this is normally my husband’s job, but I mustered up the strength and did what I had to do! This is the part of farming that isn’t pretty, but it’s a part of it! Afterwords, she was thankful that her suffering was over and continued her chores as normal.

All of our animals have a wonderful life where they are free to be animals. They are all loved, nurtured, and appreciated daily! They are not kept in cages or forced to live poorly. They have pastures of rich green grass, fresh air, clean water, and the ability to be in sunlight and soil…. for their entire life… and in the end, they only have one bad day!

Farming isn’t easy, but it is worth it! Raising children isn’t easy but it’s worth it! I know they have a different understanding of life and I am proud of who they have become! I just want to raise children that give back and are compassionate human beings who see the bad, but find the good! We have experienced some hardships this year, but we aren’t broken. Life goes on, the farm goes on and we must tend to our animals… so we go on! The best thing about it is that our children are right there with us and are enjoying every ounce of it!

To The Next Generation of Farmers,

Kaylee Richardson

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