Way back when, Dad and Mom had a dairy farm. They milked many cows, in the very barn that greets me each morning.
Farm life was different back then.
Milking was done by machine. There weren’t any chickens running around turning manure into nice compostable material. Cows weren’t named and loved on.
Milk was sold to Darigold. It was never drank raw.
So you can imagine the shock Dad had when he learned about some of my farming practices. I drink raw milk, and happily feed it to my children. I let my chickens run all over the place. I kiss my cows occasionally.
And I milk by hand.
It’s all different.
What we have to remember is that different is not necessarily wrong.
There isn’t one set of standards for everyone in the world to live by. Respect for choices that are different is essential. Arguing over petty things is just a waste of time, breathe, and words.
I farm one way. Mom and Dad farmed another.
I can still ask Dad for help, and he almost always happily helps me without commenting on the differences. He locks up the chickens at night for me, and doesn’t tell me it’d be easier to keep them in all day. He feeds the cows without discussing the barley hay instead of alfalfa.
I make it a point not to ask him to milk the cows, or expect him to drink raw milk.
Remember–different isn’t always wrong.
That’s the best advice I have for farming (or anything else) in a multi-generational house.