Practicing Gratitude on the Farm Even When It’s Hard

Through the Door

There is more to running a successful small farm business than harvesting lettuce or baking scones. Success is also a state of mind.

One night over a meal of green beans and new potatoes we talked about how grateful we are for Five Feline Farm. The country home and business we have established here. Most of the food for that meal was grown steps from the back door. Planted, tended, harvested, and cooked within a 100-yard radius of the table. To have such a level of relationship with the food we eat is a gift. At the same time, we have the distinct impression we have been entrusted with something that not only nurtures us but also the people who visit. 

But sometimes it is hard to remember to be grateful.

Like when things go wrong.

Did you ever have one of those days that nothing quite works out the way you hoped? 

It’s the little things that drive me nuts. 

The toilet paper holder falls apart when I’m in a hurry to get somewhere.

The coffee grinder is not on the shelf where I swore I left it. 

It’s cold outside on the day I scheduled to work outside.

A planting of new seeds did not germinate as advertised. 

In those moments, I have to work harder to be grateful. Experience has taught me that if I adjust my attitude and look for things to be grateful for, the little aggravations are easier to manage. 

I remind myself to be grateful for my life and the things I have acquired to make my life easier. Or that make life better. 

I am grateful for the toilet paper that I can put on that holder that fell apart. I can savor the fresh ground coffee that fills my cup. Property that provides a place to exercise creativity. The abundance of seeds that did germinate and produce fresh, tasty produce. 

As I often do when thinking about a concept, I turn to the dictionary for a new perspective. What does the definition of gratitude teach me? What does it mean to be grateful, full of graciousness? 

Merriam Webster lists the essential meaning of “gratitude” as “a feeling of appreciation or thanks” with the full definition being “a state of being grateful: thankfulness”. 

According to the thesaurus, gratitude is the opposite of censure. “Censure” is condemnation, judgment, blameworthy. 

Gratitude is not just what you do, but a state of being. A chosen attitude to combat feelings of condemnation and judgment. 

I can offer gratitude to others. I can be grateful for things. I can practice appreciation for all that surrounds me. I can accept gratitude from others.

It is a state of being that I can choose each day.

For today, whether the biscotti works out or not, I choose to be grateful for the opportunity to bake. 

I choose gratitude for Five Feline Farm and the fullness it offers my life. Even when the days are long and the work is hard. Even on the days that things don’t quite work out as planned. 

What would happen if we all practiced a little more gratitude? 

191-Decisions and Improvements


This episode of our podcast represents a turning point in our business.

We have learned it is good to periodically evaluate the areas where we invest our time, attention, effort and money. This is true not only for our business, but others. In fact, it is true for everyone in their daily lives. Some times we double down. Other times, like now, it is time to let something go.

That is where we find ourselves with our podcast, Farm Chatter. At time time, and for the foreseeable future, producing a weekly podcast is not a good investment for us.

We are not going anywhere. Five Feline Farm is growing and thriving. Freeing up some of our time and energy previously spent on the podcast will allow us to open up other creative avenues. We have a lot of ideas. We talk about some of those on this podcast.

Thank you to all who have listened faithfully. We appreciate your time and dedication.

Until next time,

Donna, Julia and the Felines

189-Interview with a Vegan Replay

Hello from Five Feline Farm!

As you can imagine, even though there is always much to be done on the farm, there are also times when a break is in order.

To this end the Mercantile will be closed on Labor Day weekend. And this podcast is a replay of a previous interview with our friends Michael and Beth Gillespie. We really enjoyed recording the episode and hearing it again ourselves.

The Mercantile will re-open on Friday, September 10, 2021 and Saturday, September 11, 2021 we will host Kwiksilver Karaoke for music in the crib. Come out and enjoy.

Until next time,

Donna, Julia and the Felines

188-It’s Tomato Time!


Yes, it is that time of year for all things tomato. There is nothing quite like a fresh from the garden, sun warmed tomato. Our tomatoes are at peak ripeness and production as we record this episode. We are eating fresh sliced tomatoes and Caprese-style salads at almost every meal.

Of course, we are also preserving tomato products for winter use. Sauce, salsa, Bloody Mary mix and enchilada sauce as well as dehydrating some for “sun-dried” tomatoes.

As usual, we are thinking ahead to how we can continue to improve and reinvent our business. You will be seeing new short courses in the future, teaching our methods on specific topics. If you have questions you would like to see answered in this way, shoot us an email, text or hit us up on social media.

In the meantime, mark your calendars for the following important dates:

September 3-4, 2021-Mercantile closed for Labor Day

September 11, 2021-Kwiksilver Karaoke in the Crib

October 9, 2021-Fall Festival featuring music by the Luna Halos

Until next time,

Donna, Julia and the Felines