I want women AND men back in the kitchen AND in the garden AND tending their backyard chickens AND doing whatever else they can do to live a healthier life that will save them money and is better for the planet. This is much too important a job to relegate to a single gender. Everyone needs to pay more attention to what we're eating and how our food is grown.
|Katherine (left) and Jonathan (right) stack hay in the barn|
I think our homesteading lifestyle was what led our daughters to pursue non-traditional careers. Our oldest is an electrical engineer now, and our youngest will be graduating with a degree in chemistry this spring and has already been accepted into a PhD program. Chemistry and engineering are both dominated strongly by men, yet our daughters feel absolutely confident about their career goals. Our youngest daughter totally credits her life on the farm for giving her a love of science. In her graduate school application essays, she even mentioned her carrion beetle experiments when growing up and her experience doing necropsies on animals that died on our farm, as well as our experience with dewormer resistance in goats and how that sparked her interest in studying antibiotic resistance in her graduate studies and professionally.
There are many single, divorced, and widowed women who are homesteading by themselves. I've met a lot of them over the years as they buy goats from me or attend workshops that I present. They build their own hay racks and goat houses. They castrate and disbud their baby goats. They process the wool from their sheep. They butcher their own chickens. Some of the strongest and most independent women I've ever met are solo homesteaders.They amaze me with their strength and vision.
I often say that we live on an old-fashioned farm, but maybe it's time I dropped that moniker. Although we do have a diversified farm where the animals lived very much like they did a century ago, what the people are doing is not always old-fashioned.
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