Keeping It Real : Farm Life At Its Best

Apr 2, 2017 | PARENTING

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I grew up in Zimbabwe and I was lucky to be able to have access to farms. Every year we used to visit my grandparents in the village. We would go and herd the cattle, goats and sheep. For us city kids it was so much fun. I remember one of the things I used to love was milking the cows in the morning, picking the eggs from the chicken run.Not everyone is exposed to this. I have heard of children who think that milk comes from the supermarket freezer. Since becoming a parent I have thought that I don’t want my kids to think that way. They may not live in Africa but they can still have exposure to the outdoors.

For my son’s 3rd birthday, we had a petting zoo for him. Boy did he have fun. He loved holding the little chickens.

Brushing the goats hide (even though you would never see that in Zimbabwe hahaha).

Everywhere we go and we see animals I try to get my kids around them just so they are used to being around farm animals. Some day hopefully soon, I will take them back to my motherland so they can see where mama came from.

This past weekend we went to my mother in-law’s home. She lives out of town on a farm and guess what she has.

Cows for milking, a horse, chickens for eggs, sheep and dogs. Oh, and a cat. The kids loved running around the yard.

At first they were a little bit scared of the animals bigger than them. I mean who isn’t right? Some kids don’t get the privilege of having a nana that has a farm. They can grow up getting some of the exposure their mama had.

Advantages of exposure

In an article written by phys org, the research they did shows that farm visits are dispelling children’s deep ignorance about where the food they eat comes from and helping teachers deliver a wide spectrum of the national curriculum, a new study has shown. Working with animals will teach children responsibility and promote good character and integrity.  A farm is a wonderful environment in which children can play, work, and learn about animals and the important place they hold in our lives. Animals have a way of bringing out the best in us and children are no exception.  Introducing our children to farm animals at an early age will result in a greater understanding of responsibility and compassion.  It has been shown that children who work regularly with animals perform well in school and get along with other children very well.

Who remembers doing agriculture in school? Where I come from, that is, Zimbabwe, agriculture is done as a subject in high school. I remember doing it for 4 years. You would have your own garden bed where you would grow your vegetables and pretty much do everything.

Cultivating, weeding, watering, and harvesting were part of the process. Not only did we learn about crops, but animals too. I learnt how to milk a cow, we would watch when they delivered the calves. I even remember one time we watched one of the veterinarians deliver a calf that was in breech. What an amazing experience that was.

I asked my partner if Agriculture was done as a subject in Australian curriculum and he mentioned that not so much in the city schools but in the rural ones. I guess that fits, as most children would be farm kids. Our son goes to a local school were we live and I liked the fact that leading to Easter break they had eggs in an incubator and the kids would experience the hatching of the chicks everyday during that week. Watching my 4 year old talk about how awesome it was to experience this made me happy because he now new where eggs came from and better yet, where chickens came from. The kindergarten he goes to is awesome because they also learn stuff like composting and growing vegetables. They get to watch caterpillars transform into butterflies and learn that not all creatures and animals are dangerous.


 This weekend made me look at the life I had growing up. The pros and cons and also look at the life my kids have and will have. Exposing them to different environments is good for them because they will grow up to appreciate everything and everyone around them. They will develop knowledge of where things come from. Do not be afraid to take your kids to a petting zoo that is set up in a shopping center, or to a farm because you will be surprised at how much they will love it. And even better yet you can sit back and relax while they go wild running around and tiring themselves.