It began in my childhood, visiting my aunt and uncle in the states. They are still living a similar lifestyle to the one I remember as a child. They had a farm in West Virginia, where it was their goal to "live off the land". Coming from the city I was always in culture shock upon arriving for the summer. From mud and manure fights with my cousin when it rained, to simply being allowed to walk in bare feet, this was a different way of life than I had ever experienced. From my fourth floor 2 bedroom apartment in Toronto, to looking out to the fields of corn, chickens roaming, goats, pigs, horses, ducks, and oh yes the geese! Anyway you get the idea.
They preserved their own food, and raised their own meat. (I was a vegetarian for 25 years after that) I think because I couldn't disconnect from the attachment, that I had just played with that goat, or chicken. Oh but I understand now. the steak at the grocery store, how many people really connect that to the cow that was raised on a concrete slab with barely enough room to move?
I cherish those memories of my childhood, and hope that my Aunt and Uncle know just how much they have impacted my life in so many good ways. They gave me roots, they gave me the tools to know that this journey wont always be easy, but when those seeds start to sprout, or baby ducks are hatching man is it worth it.
What did I learn? well, that you can be self sufficient and not only is it a way to save money, but your own survival.
I have always loved gardening, and have quite a green thumb considering my city background. In the past 20 years I have grown enough food for our consumption, but only in the growing season. There was something more, just didn't know how to get to the next level.
Three years ago, it did. I met Ron. He too grew up in the city, and had little experience with "farming" but the day we met we started planning for our future, gardens, cabins, being self sufficient everywhere we could. (yes the first day) Crazy I know, in the first ten days of knowing each other Ron began to draw up plans for our cabin. (pictures are in the gallery)
The more time we spent building, planting, it became clear that this is really what we both wanted. So how do you make a living farming? We had little capitol, little experience, and no idea what to plant that would sustain us financially.
We planted 3000 lavender plugs, and through a ton of trial and error ended up with about 1/2 an acre. Then Garlic, then Mushrooms, Veggies, Herbs.
The love affair I speak of...right sorry off track a bit. It is with each other but so much to do with the lifestyle, the farm. Planting, growing, preserving, living within our means off the land. The love affair is with our life. The life we are building, teaching Emily (my brilliant 13 year old daughter) It is the most rewarding, most beneficial thing that we could be doing, and we are doing!
One day at a time of course, and not without struggles, but the successes out way any backwards steps we take.
I am blessed, I have an amazing daughter, the love of my life, and the life I want to live.
If you get nothing out of my ramblings I hope you get this... be who you are, love what you do, respect the land, believe that you can achieve anything, and go out and get what you want in life.