How Much Time Is It, Really

One of the most common questions I get from my city friends about our farm lifestyle is, “how long does it take you each day?” It is a good question, and one that anyone who is considering any type of animals or land responsibility should consider.

Now, we have a small farm and it is entirely run by us. Larger farms usually have hired help, so their hours would be different. For now, we have enough work to keep us healthily busy, but not too overloaded. However, I don’t see us adding any more to our farm at this point either – for today, it is nicely balanced.

So, how long does it take, you wonder? Well, this answer really should be broken out in steps. First, there are the daily tasks that must be done, without fail… everyday… by us, or if we are unavailable, by someone else. However, even these daily tasks have two types.

  • The first type is the normal day. On a normal day, we spend collectively (this is a key point, remember there are four of us – although the kids do far less than the adults) about an hour in the morning and 45 minutes in the evening on the farm. So, almost two hours a day. Not too bad for a hobby, really.
  • The second type is the more the “fast food” version. We use this on days where we have a bunch of other stuff going on. If we truly do bare minimum, we can get the morning chores done in 30 minutes and the evening in about 15 to 20. We don’t have to do this often, so it is usually successful. If you tried to keep your farm alive every day using this fast-food chore type, it wouldn’t work so well (kind of like living on a fast food diet!)

Now, the times I give above are for daily chores in the winter – where we don’t have to spend time in the garden. In the spring and summer, we probably need to add at least another hour to the day… making a total of three hours a day.

In addition to our daily chores, we do have weekly and monthly chores. I would estimate that we spend an additional 4 hours a week on special projects and usually at least one day every month (so 8 hours) for more elaborate projects (like putting together a shelter, fixing a fence, etc).

So, all that said – do you think it sounds like a lot?

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