“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other is supposing that heat comes from the furnace.” – Aldo Leopold
I believe farming is coded into my DNA. My great-grandparents were dairy farmers, and I spent many happy days playing and helping on the farm as a child. Even though I left rural NY to go away to college, and spent decades in populated, urban areas, I’ve always been drawn to the farming lifestyle.
I believe farming is a part of me because I felt “home” the first time I visited the old farmhouse in which I now live.
Even though there was little trace of the farm it once was, I knew this land would produce once again.
In actuality, I’m a terrible farmer.
All of my “farm” animals – the sheep, hens and ducks — are pets. I could no more slaughter and eat any of them, than I could one of my dogs.
But what I have discovered in the six years I have lived here is that I’m a decent gardener. I can pretty much grow anything that can withstand our cold winters. What’s more, I’m quite passionate about doing it.
So, while it may not be a working dairy farm, or the horse ranch I dreamed of owning when I was young, I feel I’m home. The “Farm” has allowed me to reconnect to Nature; to become a part of the cycle of life. In a very small way, I feel the decision to move here and to build our small organic farm is doing our part to live with Nature and not against her.
“Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice then we do.” – Wendell Berry