Friday, February 15, 2013

Why I want MacchiOTTo to be a farmgirl

Most days MacchiOTTo and I will sit in her nursery and play farm with her Fischer Price Little People barn and animals.  We talk about the sounds the animals make and the names for the animals, we discuss animal breeds and what each animal eats and anything else that the animal scientist in me thinks up to tell her. 
 
Well last week MacchiOTTo and I went to the family farm up in north central Indiana and went out to the barn to see the ewes and lambs.  This was quite the first for MacchiOTTo and of course we took lots of pictures of her with the baby lambs.  I was very anxious to get her in a pair of boots and get her out in the barn with the animals.


February is the month our ewes lamb.  I've blogged before about how much I enjoy going out to the barn in the cold to find baby lambs. Our flock of purebred Shopshire sheep have been on the same farm since 1919.  So of course I wanted MacchiOTTo to see her first sheep and get well acquainted with them.  Our little shepherdess did really good with just one lamb, she would look at it and even patted its head a couple of times. Then we added a second baby lamb and that was a little overwhelming for her.  

I was so happy to have MacchiOTTo out on the farm and get her acquainted with livestock.  As I thought about all the values I gained growing up I realized most of them came from the experiences I had on the farm.  And as MacchiOTTo grows I want to be sure she receives this knowledge, experience and life learning lessons.  I want to be sure she understands where her food comes from, how it is raised and produced.  As she grows older I want her to know that her ancestors on both sides of the family were farmers, what farming was like back then and compare that to how we farm today.  I want her to feel the anticipation of planting seeds and waiting for them to emerge from the ground.  I want her to be concerned about the weather and how it could affect the growing season and I want her to feel satisfaction from harvesting those crops.  I want her to develop a compassion for animals and a responsibility of daily feeding and taking care of them.  I want her to feel the pride of showing an animal at the fair.  I want her to have faith that a sick animal will make it through the night, and even though it may be difficult, the I want her to experience the heart brake if it doesn't.  I want her to feel achievement when she sells what shes raised.  I want her to always remember to change out of her Sunday dress shoes before she heads out into the mud.  And whenever there is a chore or task in front of her I want her to not be afraid to pull back her hair, push up her sleeves and get a little dirt under her fingernails.  Yes, I think it's safe to say I want MacchiOTTo to be a farm girl.

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