If you are my FaceBook friend, you may have noticed that my current job title is "Maker" at Brood Farm. We've recently been discussing what all of our job titles on the farm ought to be, but there was no question that this one is mine.
There are several words we could use to describe the type of farming we aspire to. Throwback, retro, and heritage farming are all descriptions we've batted around. The idea is to get away from the mono-cultured farm that most of our farms are today (i.e. dairy farm or chicken farm or soybean farm) and just get back to the old-school idea of being a farm -- a place where lots of different types of farming are taking place as part of a whole system, inter-connectedness. This is, of course, an older way of farming. This is what our ancestor's subsistence farming looked like.
And in those systems, there was always a Maker. It's the Maker's job to take all that is being produced outside into the house and create something with it, for use now or later. Homemaker, a term with which more of us are familiar, is a certain type of or subset of Maker. And, sure, I do those jobs. I clean house, run kids hither and yon, cook dinner, do laundry, and on and on. But I don't consider those part of my job description as Maker of our farm. Some things I've made this week that are perhaps not standard fare for the modern-day housemaker are cheese, breads, yogurt, frozen yogurt, soap, lotion, ketchup, pickled okra, and barbecue sauce. I estimate I've "put up" about 30 gallons of tomatoes over the past two weeks. These are things I do as Maker.
My job is a great one. Other than needing to be home without fail at 6:00 am and 6:00 pm for milking, the hours are flexible, allowing me to work in some of my homemaking duties during the course of the day. And the benefits are good -- countless, really. I'm not stuck at a desk (have you heard the latest findings about how detrimental large amounts of time sitting can be to your health? They're likening it to smoking!), and I don't have to report to anyone (other than the animals, I guess). I schedule my own days. And, while they're quite full, they're always fulfilling. I get to spend LOTS of time outdoors, harvesting and working in the garden and tending animals. Being so close to God's creation is good for the soul.
Anyway, it occurred to me that some of you may not be familiar with the concept of Maker, so I thought I'd just help you make sense of my current job title. :)