First things first, I need to answer your question: why farm? It’s about sustainable living, nature, doing it yourself, a simpler way of life, knowing where your food comes from, and the animals. I can’t take suburbia anymore. I would die in the urban environment if ever subjected to it again.
I think if we can all live in as sustainable of a fashion as possible, it can only be a positive thing. We need to be connected to the land and not take it for granted. We need to be part of our local community. We need to steward the earth. We should be less dependent on the network of big farms, trucking and rail industries, and supermarkets. It’s the only way to feed the masses in the end, or survive in the face of a zombie apocalypse. We’ve all heard the old Navajo proverb, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”
I love nature, and I despise technology. However, I use a smartphone, have a laptop, use email daily, and have succumbed to utilizing an internet connection – even after corporate life. Social media is the devil, except for maybe Twitter. I hate being inside, I hate shoes, and I really dislike the Monday through Friday, 8-5pm rate race.
I’ve always been a DIY kind of girl. I watched a lot of MacGyver growing up. If I can do it myself, make it myself, and save a buck or two, I’m on it like a fat kid on a cupcake. The experience gained from each endeavor just makes me more resourceful later.
Growing up, I read the Laura Ingalls books of course! I know I was born in the wrong century for sure. There’s something about making your own salsa from your own garden, harvesting what you need for a salad for lunch, or knowing how to make scrumptious apple butter for your father-in-law. Now, if I can just figure out how to spin this wool into yarn so I can make something to wear… Those people knew how to smoke and cure meats, make candles, make soap, make clothes, build houses and buildings, till the soil and yield a crop, put up hay for their livestock, etc. Men knew how to tame and ride horses! A family could rely on a cow and some chickens, a kitchen garden, and a potato crop to get them through the year. You could trade with your neighbors. They were so productive and skillful! You could live off the land. Now that’s the simple life. I want to replicate that.
Teaching your children about how chicken eggs are grown, starting from chick to hen, and watching them interact with the chickens – that’s priceless. Showing your child how to plant a kitchen garden and explaining everything that goes into it from the soil to the water to the weather to the final harvest and the veggies on their plate – that’s priceless. Memories will be made in abundance. Going to shop at the Publix supermarket – that’s definitely forgettable. When you eat the first carrot you’ve grown, you will be so proud. All of the effort it took to get that carrot big enough to eat will build your character.
Finally, the animals. I love animals. Animals are honest and way more friendly than people. They are fascinating and clever, driven by food, sometimes to a frenzy, and loyal as your mother once was. Animals can provide us with wool, eggs, milk, meat, manure, bush cutting, keep pests under control, provide entertainment and company, and generally make the farm go around. It’s all about the animals in the end.
My farming “filosophy” is all of the above and more, and I shall write it down for you, in case you were wondering about any one thing. If you have questions, please let me know. I hope I’m not too verbose, but I wanted to share with you, whoever you are, and give you an idea of what it’s like here at Sandhill Flats.