This Humble Dream

Dec 17th

     It’s almost three years since my husband and I decided we want a farm. Note, I didn’t say that we want to be farmers. Because that’s not quite accurate. We don’t want to necessarily produce food for others. We just want to grow food for ourselves. Selfish? Maybe. But in a sea of food woefully lacking anything real, we seek food that is nutritionally dense, free of anything that ends in a “cide”. Food that didn’t require scorching the rainforest or destroying communities to be grown. Food that comes from humanely raised animals that were treated with respect. Food, simply put, that is good and is good for you. That is my humble dream.

     More and more I realize that the only way to achieve this dream, is to produce my own food. Therefore I seek a tiny piece of the planet that I can call my own.  A place I can nurture. Where domestic animals mingle with the fluttering wild birds and native visitors. Where soil and land isn’t just cultivated, it’s restored and improved through holistic management. Where I can enjoy the simple pleasure of an afternoon stroll to soak up the wonders that nature has to offer. Where I can be free of the consumerism and mass marketing that seems to permeate everywhere. A place where I can unplug. A place where I can once again learn and be curious. That is my dream.

     Three years may seem like an awful long time to be dreaming the same dream. And at times I get frustrated by the pace of progress. But on the flip side of the coin, I know we’ve made great strides towards this dream. From quitting my soul-sucking corporate job for a new one with a smaller company doing work I enjoy much more – one that is open to the idea of remote work when I do finally make the leap to farm – to our systematic elimination of the superfluous crap that has crept into our lives (Free Cycle and Goodwill have become permanent members of the vernacular used our house) to the intentional unplugging from many of the social activities that we once thought we enjoyed (dining out just isn’t as satisfying as crafting a gourmet meal at home anymore – we’ve been spoilt!). Step by step the farm is emerging from the hazy depths of my dream realm and morphing into a reality of sorts. I can almost touch it!

     Smaller things have added up too. From taking the plunge into chicken keeping, to adding a full-sized garden and even starting this blog almost exactly two years ago. All these actions help refine and substantiate our dream as one worth dreaming.

     So as I sit here writing, nestled uncomfortably against the window of a plane, returning from a work trip all the way in the opposite corner of the country, I comfort myself by day-dreaming about my farm. I think about the animals I will have (bees first, then a dairy cow) and the trees I will invest in (figs, apples, pecans) and the fresh vegetables we will grow – a list I would struggle to keep shorter than the length of my arm – oh God I can’t wait until I can grow fresh tomatoes galore! Hell, I even look forward to mucking the barn. I think about the innovative and restorative agricultural practices we’ve learned – from rotational grazing to geothermal-heated greenhouses – and allow myself to drift away…….until the turbulence jostles me back to reality. Ugh, my bum is really starting to get numb from sitting for 5 hours straight.

     I imagine it will be yet another year or two before we finally make it to our farm. And I imagine further that I will one day look back on the archives of this blog, read this post, and smile knowing that my dream wasn’t in vain. For now, I tell myself today is one more day closer to my farm. This is my dream.

Photo Credit: lonely revisited. Kathy McEldowney. Licensed under creative commons license 2.0