Why should you marry a farmer? Are they not mean and miserly, hard taskmasters, unromantic and surly souls? Are they the beggars of Europe with their gnarled hands looking for the coins from Brussels? Do they not have an Irish mammy who attended to their every whim and turned them into “mammy’s boy” material for life?
Or are they kind, romantic, fit, muscular, relatively domesticated and a ‘good catch’?
1. Farmer’s Tan – Most farmers are fit and healthy from all the time they spend walking and running across fields and after cattle and sheep. They have a good tan from their exposure to the sunlight which always makes them look healthier and better looking. Be warned though – the farmer’s tan ends at the shirt sleeves and the neckline!
2. Language – You will become accustomed to a whole new world. Terms such as “synchronizing heifers” may create wonderful images of heifers pivoting and dancing in perfect unison in the field within your mind, but you will soon learn that it refers to getting all the heifers on heat at the same times so they can be artificially inseminated on the same day.
3. Career – If you are or have yearnings to be a painter, writer, artist, baker, jam-maker, cheesemaker or any other similarly creative careers, a farm is the perfect location. Whether you need inspiration from the beautiful views and sense of space or the raw ingredient of milk or fruit to create your product, the farm is ideal.
4. Family Farm – Bringing up children on a farm gives them a wonderful upbringing and appreciation for life, for death, for nature, for fresh air, for entrepreneurship, for a sense of adventure.
5. Romance – There are plenty of opportunities for romance with picnics and afternoon tea in the field. What could be nicer than sitting in the sun in a grassy field using a tire as a backrest. Many Irish farms are fragmented and the distance back to the farmhouse for lunch is too far for a tractor drive or a walk, which means there is ample scope for plenty of picnics (romantic or otherwise). Another benefit is your orienteering skills improve drastically as you manage to find where he is in the ‘side bank of the left field to the top quarry field.’
6. Birth – There is nothing as special as seeing a tiny calf or lamb struggle on shaky legs to its mother’s udder, particularly if after a tough birth. No matter how many times you experience it, it will always give you a special glow.
7. Global Village – Never worry about feeling isolated, your neighborhood will feel like a global village. Yes, it is relatively small, but any news will spread like wildfire to London, Perth and beyond. Should you ever forget where you went or what you did the previous week, someone will be bound to know and be able to tell you.
8. No Gym Expenses – You won’t need to pay a gym membership as you will be fit and healthy from running after wayward calves, feeding calves and jumping on and off tractors. I lose weight every year when I feed 140 calves for two months! Bringing in the cows to be milked is really relaxing exercise too.
9. Scrubbing Up Well – Farmers tend to be splattered with muck, they don’t have to dress smart, trips to the barber can be few and far between at a busy time of the year and 'Movember' can happen in March, June and September. But when he does scrub up to go out for a night, the transformation can remind you why you fell in love with him in the first place and you fall in love all over again.
10. Own Boss – You and your farmer are self employed. You can go on a day off or on a holiday at any time – subject only to the sayso of the cows, cattle, sheep, crops, weather and bank balance. You have a two minute commute to your workplace. Your targets and goals are self-inflicted. You see the benefit of a whole rotation of seasons in a year and garner your harvest from the seeds you sowed. You become incredibly talented at managing cashflow too, and while your store cards might have been your old best friends, an overdraft is now your BFF.
What do you think – would you like to marry a farmer? Are you married to a farmer and would you recommend it?
Do check out my book – all about how to find a nice farmer, things you will need to know when dating him, and how to stay married to him. All with a good dose of humor and a pinch of realism. Well, I have been married to a farmer for 21 years and survived to a degree!
*Originally published in 2013