In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought I would share a little bit about why I love farming and how it makes me thankful.
A few weeks ago, in conversation with my Mom, she said that had someone asked her when I was a teenager what I would do when I was grown up, farming would not have been on her radar. And it's true, it wasn't on my radar either. But it's not such a great leap, when you consider that I have always had an interest in the ethics of raising animals and healthy eating, a love of vegetables and nature, and a desire to shape my own future and work in an independent manner. So I am thankful to have found farming, through a circuitous route of studying English and Anthropology at university, working in the social services field, and always living in towns or cities.
Prior to farming, I loved my other employment. But I felt like there was something more fulfilling and impactful than what I was doing. And I am so glad I made the leap. Here is my 'top ten' list of why I love farming:
1. Ability to follow food production every step of the way: from planning, to planting, to harvesting, and to providing directly to customers.
2. Working outside. This one surprises me most of all. While I've always loved the outdoors and have no qualms about dirt, rain, or bugs, I have also always loved warm hands and feet, warm drinks, to be clean, and to get dressed up. And none of these mesh well with farming! But I find I actually itch to be outside and feel so healthy, vital, and strong when I work steadily outside.
3. Control. Yes, control is not often a word associated with farming, but I feel I have far more control over my life as a farmer than in any other occupation I have pursued.
4. Variety. Every day is different. My typical week will include: field work such as weeding, planting, and harvesting; administrative work such as responding to emails, budgeting and financial planning, and preparing pay stubs; creative work such as writing blog posts, taking pictures, marketing products, and cooking; customer service work at the CSA and farmer's market; and, organizational work such as field and crop planning.
5. Constant learning. I am very much a life long learner. I love attending workshops, reading books and manuals, and interacting with other ecological farmers. I feel like my knowledge base has exploded in a the few short years I've been farming and know that it will only continue to grow.
6. Greater self-confidence. As I mentioned earlier, I enjoy getting dressed up. I like wearing make-up and trying to tame my curls into some aesthetically pleasing shape. But there was always a part of me that felt slightly un-authentic when always groomed. For some reason, farming has increased my self-confidence. My body is strong and productive and I don't worry a bit about wild hair or bare skin.
7. Time with my children. Balancing children and home-based self-employment can be crazy at times. But the schedule of our farm allows me to homeschool Terran and Rowan during the off-season and just generally be more involved in their day-to-day lives. And the benefits of farming for them is innumerable.
8. Shared goal with Rob. Like balancing children and employment, managing a business with my husband can be crazy too! But there is something very meaningful to work jointly with your partner towards a goal and shared passion. Our debates are loud and long and our work can seem endless but our farm is a result of our shared ideas and work, and that is a special thing.
9. Concrete positive impact of the environment. I think the state of our environment is the most pressing issue for humanity and I am glad to live in a way that feels sustainable and ecological.
10. Meeting you! At the risk of sounding melodramatic, connecting and interacting with share members and community supporters is one of my favourite (and most fulfilling) aspects of farming.
Weekly Share Contents:
Celery OR Leeks
* We will have a limited supply of organic Macintosh apples available for purchase this week. The cost will be $2/lb and share members can weigh out the quantity they desire.
Looking for new ways to use the winter squash and pumpkin in your share? Try these recipes out! http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_squash_recipes