Helping to Maintain Grandpa’s Farm

There were thousands of things that had to be done each and every day after school. Many of these things were written down on a list and attached to the refrigerator with a magnet. I was one of the only grand kids that liked visiting our grandparents and I did so every day after school. I would get off the bus and go straight to their house, as they lived right next door to us in our old neighborhood.

Some days I would walk in the door to find that no one was in the house. Instead they were somewhere on the farm doing something that needed to be done. My grandmother would write up a list and have it pinned to the fridge for me to begin. It mainly consisted of things such as cleaning out an animal pen, or bringing in the eggs from the hen house. There were times where I had to do something challenging such as chop down tall grass by the rabbit pen or go into the woods to dump debris after a storm.

Maintaining the Outdoors

As I became older, I started doing things that were a little more difficult for someone who was only eleven or twelve. I began to drive the tractor around the farm and help feed and water the animals in all locations. My grandparents were very worried when I would go out of site or not be where they expected me to be. Because the farm was very large, they were worried that I would get lost or end up in the woods.

My grandmother would love for me to help in her flower beds because that was the only thing that we seemed to share or have in common. I loved the animals and anything that had to do with outside. She loved her pretty flowers and her house, which was always spotless. The yard looked just as good as the inside of the house and she made sure of that. She loved to decorate with lawn ornaments, especially butterfly related. She had a few gnomes and a small villa type place for dwarf statues that she had purchased at a recent yard sale.

They had the best lawn mower for cutting their grass. It was a zero turn and would cover the entire yard in less than a few hours, including the backyard which was about two acres. Of course I was not allowed to use that until I was much older. At fifteen I was still pushing around an old gas hog of a lawn mower. I was allowed to use the weed eater, only because it was a cheap one and my grandfather had two or three others that he could use in case I was to mess one up. As a child, I would mess up a lot of things because I didn’t know exactly how it worked and was too proud to ask someone.

What I Learned

My grandparents taught me a lot, even if they said very little. They taught me how to care for the farm and for myself. They also taught me how to turn over a profit with selling at the local flea market, which they had done for nineteen years. I learned a lot from my parents, but the knowledge that I learned from my grandparents was to survive with a farm and to learn how to grow vegetables and other foods. This is valuable information and can come in handy in the future.

I am grown now with children, or little helpers, of my own. There are several things that I learned that I would love to pass down to my children, even if it’s just a small garden in the back yard. Teaching the kids how to farm and how to properly manage animals, especially those that produce eggs and milk, is very important. I feel confident that I can pass on the information that was shared with me to my children. Unfortunately my grandfather has passed before they could truly meet and get to know him, but my grandmother is still the sweet lady that I knew her to be years ago to the child version of me and she adores my children.