let us farm, with peace.
we get it. at least i think we do. we get that life is tough. that farm life is going to be tough. that it is a life of commitment. that it will be a life of modesty. of relative poverty. or worse even abject poverty. we get that cows need to be milked once, twice a day. every day. that sheep need to be shorn twice a year. and then there is all that wool. and that gardens need your constant vigilance. that weeds will overtake you when you let your back turn. we get that winters up north are colder than cold. that our hands will forever be the most aged parts of our bodies. we get that our backs will suffer. that our shoulders will carry the weight of years of hay bales, of bags of feed, of the worry for the farm.
we get that our bodies are our livelihood. we get that a turned ankle will put one of us down and in turn much more weight on the feet of the other. we get that bringing babies into this world will be doubly tough. that our children won't have shiny things. that our children will learn to milk a cow or slaughter a chicken before they learn their multiplication tables. that our children will need to work hard to get scholarships to go to a good school. we get that the farm doesn't give us heath-care. we get that nobody will be there to cover us on sick days. we get that there is no 'time and a half' on holidays. on weekends. on nights when you are making yogurt so the milk doesn't go to waste or planting rows by headlamp.
we get it. i really think we do. and i appreciate all of the Well Meaning for their concerns. it is good to have objective eyes. it is good be challenged. i know that they all love us and want us to be safe and happy and well fed. and i know that we won't be able to do any of this without the love and support of every one of them.
but i also want them to know, that we will be o.k. that we can do this. that they need to have a bit of faith in our chosen life. because this life is a life that has made me (and i think i can safely say, "us") so intensely happy. i have never felt more natural. more at peace. more at home. than i have while on the farm. while working with the animals and tending to the crops. this life will be a good life. for rich or for poor. we are trying to do good not just for us but for our community. wherever and however that forms. and i think we can do it.
there have been many friends and family and parents and sisters and brothers and even internet-formed friends that are wildly supportive about our endeavors. and i do not mean to diminish how that has helped us by writing this rant. their support means the absolute world to us. clearly. we would be sunk without it.
but for all the career and life changes i have made in my short 28 years...farming seems to strike a nerve in the very people we love. nobody ever gave me a talking to when i started working for a major bank. and very few ever questioned my motives when i joined facebook. nobody ever warned me of the sun's dangerous beams when i worked for summers as a lifeguard. they never told me that my weekly manicures and pedicures in new york were a colossal waste of money. and most everyone thought it was fantastic when we quit our jobs and moved to france for the winter without any idea of how we would proceed. but so many of our loved ones have taken our turn to farming as a personal affront of some sort. and i don't know how to reconcile this.
i suppose i need to accept that some of the people in our lives will always think of small farming as a fool's errand. but i just need a little break from the negativity. i just need a couple of uninterrupted moments of the universe telling us we will be good. that we will do good. and that that is good enough.
so we are off to vermont for a long weekend and some positive planning.
Posted by kate at 12:24 PM