In January of 2013, I was pregnant and taking a course called Whole Farm Planning, trying to learn how to run a business. I knew how to sow seeds, prepare beds, transplant, manage weeds, set up irrigation, and harvest. I knew how to farm. I just didn’t know how to run a business.
So I was learning.
We were living in a yurt on our new land, tending to a flock of sheep, working part-time, off-farm jobs and planning the first summer of our farm while I simultaneously grew a baby and felt nauseas at the smell of winter squash (which totally bummed me out because we had SO MUCH winter squash that year). Despite the off-farm jobs, the bank account seeded stones of anxiety in my stomach. If we weren’t building a farm, perhaps I’d have felt differently, but the numbers just didn’t seem to support the dream, and I swung between optimism and “how is this ever going to work?”
The day of my financial management class was one of those “how is this ever…” doubtful mornings. As my husband drove me to my carpool, tears streaming down my face, I said to him, “What if we can’t make it and we have to sell the farm and become vagabonds?”
He stared at me. I blinked. And we burst out laughing.
It wouldn’t be so bad, being vagabonds. Hadn’t I declared my desire to be one just a few years earlier, telling my mom I didn’t want a car or permanent home, but to travel instead? Hadn’t I dreamed of being a hippie, living out of an old VW bus since I was 9 years old? There were people who raised their kids on the road, I was sure of it. We could be those people. We could cut off our financial responsibilities and buy a van and leave.
As these thoughts shot through my mind, I realized that before that, we’d just get full-time jobs. That the worst case scenario really wasn’t so bad (even the worst worst case scenario, of selling the land and living with my parents for a while, wasn’t so bad). Because despite the bank account, we had people rooting for us. Despite the bank account, we had our willingness to dig in and sprout and grow roots. Despite the bank account, we knew how to feed ourselves and how to love each other.
Here & Now
It takes time. Five years on, we’re still here. The farm is growing. The worst case scenario hasn’t happened (despite the seasonal breakdowns that do still occur). The best case scenario hasn’t come to fruition, yet, but we’re getting closer (stay tuned…that scenario is coming tomorrow).
At the end of the day, we go to sleep and in the morning we wake up next to each other. We feed ourselves and grow our love. We dig in and sow seeds.