Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Farmer's Wife

Over the last hundred years we have seen a dramatic breakdown of the family. The reasons for this breakdown are legion, and it is not my goal in this post to name or describe these various causes. Rather I would like to point out something that has become more and more apparent to me and my wife as we have grown together on our return to the land. As I have written before, we run a CSA off of a small acreage. We live, work, and pray together on a daily basis. What I would like to focus on particularly is the "work" aspect of our relationship as husband and wife.

Over time I have come to realize just how important my wife' role in farming truly is. It is also in this realization that I realized how hum-drum the lives of many stay-at-home mom's have become over the past fifty years. I have begun to realize one of the ways that a woman as wife and mother needs to contribute to a home is economically. As Proverbs 31 says in consideration of the good wife: "She hath sought wool and flax, and hath wrought by the counsel of her hands." This role of the woman was abandoned in the early part of the twentieth century as farming families fled to the city to escape the farm. What women were left with in place of the essential tasks they performed on the farm, was a set of mundane chores. These chores became even more banal as labor-saving devices took away even the physical satisfaction of good work. What were women to do but flee to the workplace. They no longer had an economically important role to play in the home. They didn't grow food or put it up. They didn't assist in the many farm labors that had to be done to keep the farm going. All that was left were house chores, and these did not contribute to the economic wellbeing of the family.

So it is that I return to my own home. What satisfaction it brings both my wife and I to know that we are working together to live our dream. If my wife did not take care of many of the more difficult paperwork and tax related items I am quite certain I would be thrown in jail through ignorance of tax codes and such. She keeps our blog updated and returns emails to our patrons. She also comes out when time allows and picks crops with me. This is a joy that I cannot describe in words. My wife knows that we could not do it without her. She plays an indispensible economic role in this little farming endeavour. She has thanked me numerous times for leading us into this life. I have to return the thank you to her for being willing to follow me anywhere as she promised be she would. I believe that with a return to the land and more small home based craft businesses, many women would find the longing for that job beyond the home dissipating. When they can stand beside their husband and help him to perform those jobs that are providing for the family, they would see little need of a job of their own. I love working with my wife. I love that we put food up together for the winter. I love that we sit at CSA drop offs together. I came home to be with her and our children and have received more than I ever imagined possible.



Maresa Publishing said...

Thanks for this post. I can see it in our lifes, now that we are thinking about farming as a join endevour. It has brought me to respect my husband in another way and is uniting our work which the children will witness. I knew beforehand from's pamphlets about the effects of work outside the home, but it is better to see it in particular cases like yours or one's own.

Marissa Nichols said...

Wonderful and insightful. Thank you for this. I will carry this message with me, always!

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Gwenny H. said...

This puts so much new perspective on what I see/feel/live EVERY day! I'm going to print this and ponder it for a while and then beg my husband to subscribe to your blog! It's fantastic; thank you for enlightening me a little!

Stew said...

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