6 Ways to Take a Break from the Farm

Each Monday our FarmOn fcailitator Jen Jenkins takes questions or a topic brought to her by our FarmOn community members and posts them on ourFarmOn Facebook page for discussion.

Last week we talked about how farmers can get a break from the farm; a responsibility that we carry 365 days a year:

Q: What do you do to give yourself a break from the farm?

“I can’t remember the last time our family took a holiday and while we love what we do I would love just a little R & R on occasion. I know many other farmers who seem to find the time to do things or go places outside of the farm but we never seem to be able to ourselves.

I don’t know if we need to manage our time on the farm better, or maybe just change our mindset and make taking a break now and then a priority? I would love to hear advice from other farmers who have found a balancebetween work and play on the family farm.”

Here is what our community of farmers had to say:

Taking a Vacation from the farm: Just do it!
There is never a perfect time to get away from the farm, you just have to make a plan and time to go and keep it. Even in the worst case scenario you come back with a refreshed mind, heart and soul to think clearer and have more energy.

You just have to pick a time. There will always be work to do on the farm and it will always be there when you get back. If you can’t seem to wrap your mind around taking a week off from farm work, try starting small, say take a day off to go to the water park with the kids or go to museum with the wife, or something like that. Work your way up to a week. You will feel so much better for the time away.

Trade help on the farm with your friends and neighbours

We trade off chores on the farm with a neighbour so we can take turns taking a vacation.

I usually take a week vacation with the family and I pay a friend to do the farm work while we are gone

When it rains – take time off from farming!
We try to take advantage of ‘rained out’ days and think of something fun we can do as a family and just go. Our kids aren’t in school yet so we have that flexibility. We got away for longer than a few days for the first time in 5 years this past winter; it was much needed and is now a priority to make it happen every year even if it’s just 4 or 5 days spent at the lake!

Mix work with play on the farm
Our “vacation” usually ties into something farm related – attending a trade or livestock show plus some touristy stuff! Just book it and go. There will always be a reason you shouldn’t go – the farm will be there when you get back… Just do it!

Take a “staycation”. No one says you need to leave the farm to relax
I find I don’t really want to get away, my life is a vacation, I love where I live and waking up to the farm. I have done some travelling in the past and now I just like to sit outside with my coffee and smell the lilacs…

Never get so busy making a living on the farm that you forget to make a life
I love my life and farm however this is the most difficult part of my job. I feel so guilty taking time off. There is always so much to do, however if we take an afternoon off, or day off somehow we make it up. With cattle and crops, if we are not calving, we are seeding, haying, swathing, combining, weaning, feeding and it goes on and on. I think that this is one of the things that really stops young people from wanting to farm. They see their parents basically just working too hard!

Do you have a question or topic you would like to see discussed by ourFarmOn Community? We would love to hear from you. Email our facilitatorjen.jenkins@farmon.com with your ideas for chat topics, and if you are looking for more one on one support she can help with that too!

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