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Farm Note 9: A Weekend Away

Farmers don’t get vacation. Traditional farmers, anyway. But, hi-tech farm families can take a weekend away, if they plan well enough.

Guess which one we are?

One stipulation of us launching our family farm was that we could still get away from it from time-to-time. We are, after all, millennials. We love to travel. We want to have it all- the life of our dreams, plus a break from it for two weeks a year. We’re kinda selfish that way.

bright red chicken coop with wifi hotspot on vanhoveln farm cedar rapids iowa

If you follow us on Insta or Facebook, you’ve seen the wifi hotspot on the chicken coop and heard me joke about sitting in the goat pen with my laptop to work. Security cameras mean we can peek in on our crew from anywhere, and a smart-home enabled electric fence means we can turn it on or off with just a click on a screen.

High-volume feeders and waterers allow us to fill-and-forget for a few days, and a timer on the chicken coop door lets the chickens out at dawn and locks them back in at dusk. I’ll elaborate more on our setup in another post, but for now, know that we have taken every precaution we could think of to keep our animals healthy and safe while we were gone, and everyone had a restful weekend.

We continued our family tradition of camping at Camp Luwisomo in Wild Rose, Wisconsin. This was our group’s 15th year there, and Andrew and my 14th. We’ve been there for every year except the one where I was in the hospital recovering from birthing my impatient son. In a Volkswagen. On the side of the road. In a forest preserve. But that was the year the campground had no power or water, so really, it was a win for us.

three vanhoveln kids on concrete wall

Being gone for the weekend also meant that I’m now running behind on chores. So, if you’ll excuse me, I have a chicken coop to clean and a garden to tend.  Be sure you follow us on Facebook and Insta for all the latest VanHoveln Farm happenings. And as always, if you’re in the Cedar Rapids-Corridor area of Iowa, stop on in. I’ll have a rake waiting for you.

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