As I sit here this afternoon, silently thankful the rain/snow has stopped, I am pondering farm life. Make no mistake, I love it here. I have always had a love for the country, for being close to the land. Even in the city, I relished that contact with the Earth, growing as much food as I could for my family, creating my Urban Jungle, and giving back by stirring in the compost.
It’s different, out here. It’s wide open, and beautiful. My closest neighbour is a 1/4 mile away. We have the pleasure of having the horses here at home with us. It’s a lot of work, but they are worth it. We have wildlife that we see every day…from the geese, ducks and swans, to the skunks, coyotes, foxes and the eagles. Sadly, we’ve lost a barn cat or two to the predators, but it’s farm life.
If our young miss Fiona doesn’t produce litters of kittens, we’ll be looking for a few more cats, to replace our lost ones. We are surrounded by grain fields. Grain fields means rodents. Now, yes, we could just put out poison for the rodents, but…stop and think for a moment about who else eats rodents. Our 80 acres is part of a larger ecosystem, one that we have to be mindful of, because things we do here, can have far-reaching, long-lasting effects.
We have foxes, coyotes, hawks, eagles…all eat rodents. If we put down poison to get rid of the rodents, we are killing the natural predators too. Add to that, it puts the cats we do have at risk as well.
Instead we have more cats. Means we have to have a little more cat food for the winter months, when hunting is leaner, but, it also means we are not poisoning the ecosystem, by introducing poison into the rodent population.
To me, and, I think, the rest of the family, this is an important thing. We’re Stewards of this land. Yes, we bought it, we own it, but really, in the grand scheme of Life, we’re Stewards.While we use this land for our own needs, we have a responsibility to not damage it, or the original inhabitants…the animals. We may hunt here, but we take only what we will use, and no more.
It is not our job to drive out the wildlife, in order to have a comfortable life here-or really, anywhere. It is our responsibility to learn to live in Harmony with the wildlife, and with the land. Human lives are so short, we have no business forcing the world around us to get out of our way, just because we want to live somewhere.
After all, Harmony is a beautiful thing!