I have been eluding to the hardships of this life and work we’ve chosen, because I feel there is this romanticism that so many people (and even corporations) attach to farms and farming. In my writing and sharing, I want to emphasize that it is NOT all peaches and cream. The entrepreneurial learning curve, as well as the new farmer learning curve, has been incredibly steep. Actually being a farmer though, IS absolutely great and gives us an extremely fulfilling life. I mean, for real, we live off the land and we provide delicious food to literally hundreds, if not thousands, of people in various outlets. It’s what I’ve always dreamed of! We run a business from this farm, eat extremely well, and have our basic and primal needs met. So why have I been so frustrated and restless?
The 5 year out question has been festering in my mind. What do I want to do, I mean really want to do in five years? I’ve achieved what I really wanted 5 years ago; I am a fulltime farmer. I spend my days surrounded by our animals, the natural world, our gardens. It’s “multitasking central,” which is my specialty.
What I would want to do, if I could have no worry of financial responsibility, is 2 things: homesteading and raising happy animals.
Being as self-sufficient as possible for our household, and as low carbon foot print as I can be, has been my goal for a long while. I get such pleasure and fulfillment from toodling around with growing, preserving, fermenting, brewing, curing, smoking, butchering. And being around content, healthy and joyous animals makes me extremely happy, especially if I was directly involved in their comfort and satisfactions being met. I also want to have more time to write and do other creative projects too.
Being a business owner, the line of what’s “me” and what’s “the farm” has been blurred over the past 4 years, because we have had to focus on bringing in income to pay for our farm’s expenses, as well as our own. As newbie farmers, we’ve had to focus everything and every penny on making our business work before our own personal desires were filled. That’s part of any business, especially as it starts and grows.
We’re finally at the point now where we have things pretty set up to just farm, not struggle. I am extremely proud to say that! It has been SO HARD, but we have persevered. Now, as we look to next season, we can actually have the luxury of saying “what do I really want to be doing with this one and precious life?”
This year we’ve had a terribly late and super wet spring, which has been a major pain in the butt for CSA gardening. The stress of the way we’ve been doing our CSA shares has really been too much with this fickle climate now rearing it’s head 2 springs in a row. Our CSA program has got to change. We have some really exciting plans for an overhaul and re-invention of how we do it next season. It’s kind of a secret right now, but I am feeling the joy return and the stress lift from my shoulders. Yeehaw!
An aside- my New Farmer Article Series is beginning in the next issue (the August 2014 edition) of ACRES USA magazine! I am so nervous and excited!
It’s been a rather trying season, but awesome things keep happening- and this helps us keep our morale up. This Saturday I’m going to be on Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl’s radio show– 11am on WCCO for all my Twin Cities peeps. AND….The Perennial Plate is coming out to film tomorrow afternoon, and this footage MAY end up in a PBS special on the new Victory Gardens. WHAT??? I know!!! So fingers crossed. My dear husband spent the day getting our kitchen and bathroom revamped and cleaned, so, well, we will see how all of this goes.