Being away from the farm really puts things into perspective. Trying out city living has taught me one clear lesson: I’m country folk. I like the separation of work and home. I would rather be in my crappy old farm house with the 70’s green and yellow laminate than in a city house with all the perks. Home is the farm. I’m grateful for the lesson. Would I prefer never to travel to the city and make a living on the farm? You betcha. Someday.
Wow, really noticing my enthusiasm and hope for the farm wans and waxes with the old moon. I know that the best thing to do in dig and start but sometimes I let the list overwhelm me and render me useless. I will give myself a break; I seem to be fighting a slight cold that will not go away and this could be part of the lack of energy and frustration. But today, I took the dogs for their walk and then I decided to simply start with the garlic. I have fussed with the soil for months now and the bed is ready or as ready as it will ever be. An hour later I had planted 70 cloves and I had one big one leftover which I will save for my climbing rose – just read that garlic around a rose bush will discourage certain pests. Sounds good to me.
Where to start? Now that we have decided we’re not ready to give up our farm where do we begin? I have lists and charts of ideas organized seasonally, by order of importance, preferred tasks etc. but no idea which one is going to be the one to launch me into a different life. I know that there isn’t one thing I can do that will miraculously perform this but I want to make sure that the precious time I have isn’t wasted. How do I make sure I am putting my energy (also precious) into the right thing? The answer? There is no answer and so I must take a breath and simply go about finishing the many projects we have started.
The garden? Finish the gazebo. I know, it sounds decorative and not useful but who knows? It could help in my other brand new baby idea about garden consultations. For sure I must move the strawberries because they are getting strangled by the hay field. I must plant more garlic. These are all things that will help me next spring and summer when I may be free to put all my energy into farming. May is the operative word here. Also, I would like to plough the front field just in case I need somewhere to plant a lot of potatoes and pumpkins and squash.
What else? The wood workshop in the barn; I have a vague, barely grown idea about offering woodworking classes to anyone who is interested. How do I make that safe for all? What projects are easy and fun to start with? Where exactly in the barn? Perhaps we need to put in permanent stairs up to the workshop first? So many questions but the point is to start, right? Reading Joel Salatin’s You Can Farm, again, I noted a very important sentence. You can’t wait until everything is perfect to start or you will never start.
In the meantime, writing about these questions seems to be a good outlet for me. It also helps me organize my priorities. I am aware that the success of the farm will depend on many people and things. I am not an island. Perhaps, also, writing about it will inspire others to jump into their dreams and not worry so much about not succeeding. I really do believe we are our own worst enemies when it comes to pursuing our dreams and ideas.
Guess it’s time reread The Four Seasons Gardener by Eliot Coleman, The Sustainable Market Gardener, and keep reading YOU CAN FARM. The only way to begin is to simply begin. This weekend: strawberries.
Maybe this is actually how one begins.
It took us a while and a summer of angst but we DID NOT sell the farm. I feel we narrowly escaped making a HUGE mistake. It may be folly and it may be our stubborn nature but we’re going to somehow make it on the farm and in the next few seasons we’re going to make things happen. So, the word is out. I’m excited to see we will do in the future.
I know…been a while. But but but, very busy. Glad to see people are still checking out our blog though. It has inspired me to write a post today. Thanks for your support. As you may have noticed it is has been a strange summer weather wise but it’s been great for not having to water. On the down side, the weeds are winning the battle. Oh well. What can ya do?
We have been enjoying the food from our garden and our peas are gigantic. Sam ate a whole entire broccoli the other day by himself and wouldn’t share. As a mother, I sighed in contentment. What else is happening. Luke is off the farm presently enjoying a week in the bush practicing bush-craft with like-minded peers. Although we miss him very much, I am happy for him and I know he is going to come back and teach us a lot of stuff.
Chef Luke prepares the fresh leeks.
Sam is Mr. farmer and Shawn and he, had Henry the tractor out trying to grade the driveway after all the rain. Sam has also been playing soccer this summer and meeting lots of new friends. Recently Sam and myself rebuilt the Gryffindor common room out of lego and we have had a lot great Harry Potter plays. Oh, and Shawn put the finishing touches on the trim and built the bunk beds in record time and now the boys are in their lovely new room. It gives us hope that the whole house one day will be done. That is three rooms done now.
The chickens tractors out in the garden are a great success and I thank our hens and roosters for all their hard work. At least some is out there in the garden every day if it can’t be me. I will take more pictures all this and share the visuals in the next week or so. I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and I will try to post more in the future.
Come and see us and all the other vendors at the Algoma Farmers’ Market. From 8:00am to 12:00pm at the Roberta Bondar Park. It is early but you will be surprised to see what our farmers’ have grown already!
It only took six years to get this up. But we like to take our time with some things I guess. Now, let’s hope this sign stays up for a long time. Being “true” can be hard sometimes.