How to conquer barriers by focusing on benefits

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Every day we have to conquer barriers on our homestead. Running a small family farm isn’t all sunflowers and gorgeous sunsets.  I am sure you know that, right?  After all, the masses are not doing it. 

Conquer barriers
Sunflower from our farm

There’s a reason for that.  It’s hard.  Many prefer to live vicariously through those of us who do it.  If you fall into that category, hats off to you.  You are smart!

Don’t get me wrong.  Owning and operating a  small family farm is fulfilling.  Last night I heaped a spoon full of salad on my plate.  I grew 90 percent of it right here on the farm.  It was a picture perfect plate full of my bounty.  It looked like a  picture from Country Living Magazine.  

A salad from our own garden from 2020

Had I not been so tired, I would have posted a picture on Facebook.  I love knowing exactly what was put on these veggies to grow them.You bet, I felt resourceful, self-reliant and independent for all of five minutes. Then I remember how we had to conquer barriers beyond belief.

Barriers we face

Yes, reality hit. The work it takes to get a plateful of salad reminds me of my dependence and vulnerability.

Mother Nature gave us record heat levels and no rain this summer. Growing lettuce in intense heat means more work to water the plot.  

2020 lettuce plot

Free range chickens, a barrier

Further, my son’s chickens escaped their movable pen. They ran rouge the entire summer.  Out of five acres of vegetation, they could not help but zero in on my lettuce.   Blasted birds!!

The battle was on.  I spent many days running them off.  They returned because they are bird brains.  They quickly forgot the terror of a maniacal woman chasing after them shouting “Shoo”. 

Ultimately, I won. That geriatric flock was posted on Craig’s list. They were re-homed.  The younger replacement flock lives in a new pen reinforced with Constantino wire.  Just kidding.  The twins built a new movable pen. They claim they will not escape from this one. 

But there is one thing none of us talk about.  Specifically there are six chickens still on the loose. They were hatched out by a banty hen this spring. No one can catch them.  The problem remains.  Six rouge chickens is better than 30.  I am getting more salad. So, we called it a truce for now. 

Toddlers helping, a barrier

My lettuce woes were compounded by my toddler grandsons. 

conquer barriers
conquer barriers

We include them in most everything we do here on the farm.  Allowing them to “assist” helps them develop work ethic at a young age.  It comes with a cost in the early years.  

conquer barriers
The entire team including my grandchildren cleaning up the neglected landscape fabric
conquer barriers
Gabriel “helping” clean lettuce.
conquer barriers
Sammy helped move dirt in the high tunnel

The toddlers helped weed the lettuce plot.  I am sure you know where this is going.  Yes, they had a hard time. They left some weeds and pulled up a few lettuce plants.  Needless to say, it took a lot of effort to get a plateful of farm fresh salad.  

How we conquer barriers

How do we rise above the challenges? Is it worth the struggle?   1) We intentionally focus on the blessings. 2) we remind ourselves of why we are doing it.

We keep the benefits at the forefront of our minds. Celebrating our successes is key. Savoring the best helps us press on.  And, yes!  It is worth the struggle.   

Take this video for example.  It highlights some of the benefits of our small family farm.  I work alongside my children and grandchildren. We have a close relationship. The legacy is rich. He is learning at a young age to focus and work.  Watch as my grandson, age two, focuses on his job.  He is helping cut soap and cleaning the soap cutter.  

Traction takes place when we intentionally focus on the blessings.  Of course, life is hard.  Work is challenging.  But, endurance comes by dialing in on the benefits. 

How do you conquer barriers in your daily life? I would love to hear from you. Share your tips in the comment section below.

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