If you find
It is time for a rethink and a bit of space
Taking any sort of break or rest seems impossible
It’s hard to farm when you have flogged your soil or yourself near to death
Adequate rest is the break that allows recovery.

Although this pattern was originally about pastures and soil, it applies to farmers as well.

A farm is an organism and any organism that gets inadequate rest becomes more prone to stress, exhaustion and sometimes to failure.

If this sounds like you or your farming system, then Rest is almost certainly part of the cure. One reason why Animals on the move is a key part of rangeland and pasture management is that it provides rest.

If a lack of rest is what is happening to you, it is probably time for a rethink and a break, even though that may seem impossible at the moment.

Remember, it’s hard to farm when you have flogged your soil or yourself near to death.

Taking time out allows a fresh perspective and lets you come back to work refreshed and revitalized.

For the humans, sometimes all it takes is Activities off the farm because a change really is as good as a holiday.

At other times you may need to have a real holiday — whatever that means to you and your family.

A friend of mine has a cartoon on her refrigerator door that shows a farming couple returning home in the car. She says something like: “Thank you for the vacation, I enjoyed the whole day.”

If that rings a bell, it sounds like it is time for some time out.

And the health of the farm family is often tied up with the quality of the holidays they have. If your response to that statement is “What’s a holiday?” or “Why bother with holidays?” you may need to listen to the rest of the farm family on the subject.

A Short on, long off rotation can allow enough time for recovery from grazing or cropping and the shorter “on” time can still allow the benefit to be gained quickly in a grazing rotation or a cropping situation.

Similarly, in a cropping rotation, a Short on, long off rotation can allow enough time between crops that exhaust the soil so the soil can recover some biological fertility for the next crop.

Ways to achieve this include:

  • Fallow or non-harvest crops
  • Introducing a pasture phase into the rotation
  • Green manures and other regenerative measures.
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