Keeping a farm journal is a rewarding practice for beginners and experts alike. In this series, we will try to answer four critical questions about farm journals: why, what, when, and how. Enjoy!
It is true that we can learn a great deal from farming books, but there is no substitute for hands-on experience. Unfortunately, it can be a difficult way to learn. Experience is essentially the sum of the mistakes we have made over our lifetime.
One way we can make the learning process easier on ourselves is by writing down the things we have found out through experience. If we have a written record to refer to, we may be able to avoid making the same mistakes twice. Wouldn’t it be nice to just glance at our records and remember:
- When we planted carrots last year?
- How we cured that injured chicken?
- Which recipe turned out the best?
- Why on earth we started doing THAT?
As we get the hang of keeping good records, we can start to tailor them to our needs. For example, we can keep a feed inventory so that we know how much we use and how much we need to buy. We can keep a daily record of eggs laid and gallons of milk produced so that we can catch a problem before it becomes serious.
But even if we never look at our journal again, there is something in the process of writing that cements information in our minds. We have recognized the importance of a fact, and therefore we will be more likely to file it away mentally instead of letting it slip from our minds.
One final reason to keep a farm journal is that it can become a treasured keepsake. Depending on what you write in it, it can be a record of Providential workings and time spent with family.
The question then becomes, why not keep a farm journal?
Unfortunately, it is human nature to make things more complicated than necessary, and this is probably why writing a journal is daunting to some. Over the next few weeks, we hope to show you ways to keep it simple and enjoyable.
Next Week: What