As I write this I am sitting in a beautiful hotel lobby in Mexico waiting for a group I am escorting to come check out and head home. My best friend of 40 years is arriving later today and we will spend three days together catching up and relaxing.
At home we are having what I hope is the last freeze of the season. I have many seedlings under lights as well as my 5 hens out on the pasture. I have two bee hives enduring the winter and I have a batch of kombucha fermenting in the pantry. Now, I love my family dearly and they lovingly tolerate what many would consider my strange hobbies. They don’t have the same enthusiasm for them that I do. I don’t generally ask them for help when I go out of town except in very limited circumstances.
So what happens when I go out of town? My husband and I have owned Legacy Travel since 1989 so we travel more than the average person. A couple of weeks from now we are on a cruise, later this year we are in Italy, another time this year we go to Africa for a safari. We are both elite travelers with our hometown airline. We travel ALOT.
So what happens with the bees, the chickens, the seedlings, the kombucha SCOBY and the garden when I travel?
You’ve heard the saying “It takes a village to raise a child”? Well, it also takes a village to keep my operation running. I have managed to knit together the help required to keep things humming while I’m out of town. Of course, I also try to plan when I plant and start seeds around when I’ll be home, but that isn’t always possible.
Here’s my team at the moment:
I have a friend who loves to take care of my chickens when I’m out of town. This requires driving out to the pasture twice per day every day as well as worrying about them when they manage to escape their fencing. If I’m gone for more than a few days, I have a young lady who is a local FFA officer who I pay to take care of them.
Then for my seedlings, If I’m just gone a night or two, my husband will water my seedlings. For longer trips, I have hired a middle school girl who lives right across the street from me. I gave her a garage door opener so she could get in and water the seedlings. I showed her what to do and put signs on each tray to remind her of the requirements of each one.
As the season continues, I suspect that I can show her how to harvest things, check to see if something needs additional watering, etc.
All of this to say, “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. Perhaps you have a more willing interested family than I do. If you look around, I’m betting there are solutions. Like everything gardening related, if you take the attitude “I know there is a solution here…what is it?” the solution will eventually become known. Gardening is pretty much a series of solving one problem after another. This is just another one waiting for your ingenuity!