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Being a farmer has its perks, but let’s not forget the problems that come with it as well. I’m not going to be overly positive about this; farming is hard work and if you don’t take care of yourself properly, it can cause serious damage to your well-being.

Self-care is important for every farmer and it’s an awful assumption that women who farm don’t take care of themselves and have no need to, either. One of the biggest problems that we come across as farmers is awfully tired and aching feet (courtesy of harvest season, planting and soil tilling). I’ll tell you how you can take care of them at the end of the day so you’ll be ready to go back to your farm the very next day.

Get the Right Support

No, I’m not telling you to buy an overly expensive pair of shoes for farming purposes because your old boots will do just fine. However, I do suggest that you add good insoles to your shoes. These can provide adequate support that takes some of the pressure off your heels, resulting in less-severe aches.

Practice Stretching Exercises

You don’t have to practice a rigorous workout after hours in the garden, but stretching once you take off your boots is a must. Yoga poses help in calming the body and helping your muscles return back into position, making you feel well-rested. You don’t need to practice multiple asanas, just the ones that help remove pressure from your foot muscles. Poses like the Bound Angle Pose, Runner’s Stretch, Hero’s Pose and Downward Facing Dog will be effective at lessening the pain in your feet.

Take Some Breaks

I shouldn’t need to tell you this, but even farmers need a break. I’ve heard countless women tell me that they don’t take breaks when they’re on the farm. This is detrimental to your health in the long-term and you won’t be able to take proper care of your crops either, resulting in a bad yield you worked so hard for.

Therefore, you should make it a habit to take breaks often to help circulate blood through your feet. Keeping your feet in boots for multiple hours a day leads to loss of blood circulation. You can fix this by changing your posture and practicing some quick exercises while in the garden. Rotate your ankles clockwise and anticlockwise to loosen the muscles, and do some lunges to flex your hamstrings and thigh muscles.

Soak Your Feet

Save the best for last is what I always say; at the end of the day, nothing will feel as soothing as soaking your feet in a relaxing bath. Add Epsom salts, drops of your favorite essential oil to a warm footbath, and soak your feet. It acts as an anti-inflammatory that relieves muscle spasms and aches.

Finish off with a Massage

Once your feet are nice and clean, use some moisturizer or body oil to slowly massage your feet. Work out any tense muscles to relax them and massage along your toes to prevent bunions.

These are some of my favorite tips to relieve foot pain after a long day of farming. Try them out and tell me how it helps! Happy farming!

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Find Your Inner Peace

by Julie Dees

There is a lot of talk about the benefits of living off of and working with the land. Most of what you’ll hear revolves around the tangible things that people routinely attach a value to. These might include having only the freshest food on your table or ensuring your kids know how that food they’re eating came into being. Or it might be the weight you’ve lost from the physical exertion of working the farm. Seeing your hard work pay off at harvest with a bountiful crop is another. All of these things can be assessed or measured in some way. They can help you find satisfaction and worth, but can they really help you find your inner peace?

Inner peace isn’t talked about as much because it is intangible – it can’t be touched, seen, or gauged. But it does have an impact and is a direct benefit to your inner being. Your inner being can be called whatever you like: soul, psyche, ego, spirit, chi, or life energy. It is whatever YOU choose to call your inner self or consciousness. The key here is that no matter what name you’ve given it, it needs to be fed and nurtured just as your body does.

Much of what we do on an everyday basis is done in order to feed our bodies and replenish our coffers. That seems to be the priority and is just the way it is. There are a lot of benefits to working with nature that feed both our bodies and our souls, but we can’t always see them. Taking a break from the craziness of today’s overly connected world can help us find that inner peace. This occurs even when we don’t realize we’ve been searching for it.

See the Unseen

You can connect with your inner being and find these unseen benefits if you just take the time to reflect and look for them. Some examples might be:

  • Think of how you felt when you saw that very first row of corn seedlings peeking up through the soil. Do you remember the excitement as you picked that very first ear off of the stalk? YOU did this!
  • Be proud that you’re canning peaches and making cobblers just like Grandma did fifty years ago. You may even be using her hand-written recipes and keeping the family traditions alive.
  • Enjoy the fact that your entire family is unplugging from technology and thriving away from the rat race. Your kids are beginning to understand the cycle of life in a way no textbook could ever show them. They also now know what it means to be a “good tired” when they go to bed.

Find Your Inner Peace Now

You don’t have to be physically on the farm to tap into that happy place inside you. Learning to slow down and breathe while letting your imagination wander can be done anywhere at any time.

Shut off your electronic gadgets, close your eyes, open your mind, and let your senses take over. Now imagine…

~ the rhythmic sound and feel of the hoe hitting the dirt as you weed or the soft thud of the ax as you chop wood.

~ the peace and calming routine of picking each piece of fruit and gently placing it in a basket.

~ the feeling of the soft dirt crumbling across your fingers or the bumpy-smooth hardness of that walnut shell you’re cracking.

~ the taste of an almost-too-ripe strawberry as the sweet juice hits your tongue and taste buds.

~ the smell of sun-warmed hay being tossed into a feeder as hungry goats mill around you.

~ the beauty and joy of a cow nuzzling her newborn calf or a flustered hen trying to corral her wandering chicks.

The act of visualizing these images can help bring your blood pressure down while giving your spirit a boost. Allow them to help you find your inner peace – even if you’re stuck in that office chair at the 9-5 drudgery for now. Get in touch with that inner you and let it know you’re heading home to the farm soon.


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