Journey of an Organic Farmer

Planting flowers at Good Heart Farmstead

Planting flowers at Good Heart Farmstead

I didn’t intend to become a farmer.

It happened almost by accident.  I graduated from college in 2009 with a degree in Environmental Studies and English, and I didn’t know what I wanted to do.  What I did know was that I was ready to start eating meat again, after 6 years of vegetarianism; I loved food and wanted to understand the food system better.

So I took a job on a farm near my home town and moved in with my parents for the summer.

The Green Mountain Girls Farm introduced me to raising goats, chickens, turkeys, pigs, and lamb.  They introduced me to production vegetable farming and running a CSA (community supported agriculture) program.  They introduced me to soil and sweat and a longer rhythm of life that moved with the seasons.  

When the summer ended, I flew to New Zealand, where I traveled for a month and WWOOFed on a developing orchard for another month.  That led me to taking a job in Fairbanks, Alaska, running a school garden for Calypso Farm and Ecology Center.  Eventually, I came home to Vermont, found land, and began Good Heart Farmstead with my husband.

Telling it like this, giving you the sweeping overview, makes it sound so easy.

Some parts were easy: the dreaming, developing the vision, creating the friendships that supported my journey, falling in love on an Alaskan organic farm.

Other parts were heartbreaking, frustrating, anxiety-ridden.  It’s hard to distill them into a list as I just did with the easy parts.

But it’s these parts that pushed me, squeezed me, and forced me to let go that brought me to a place of expansiveness.  And still there are rhythms of contraction and expansion as we grow our farm and our lives.

Through it all, I come back to a simple connection with place.

Growing a good heart life is to entwine myself with the land.  It is quiet time each morning for tea and meditation.  It is deeply connected to a spiritual path, the belief that we are all good, and we all have the capacity to move from an awakened, compassionate heart.

All I want to do in this world is to share, to connect and inspire and help grow nourishment and love.  I know it can be done in an infinite number of ways.  Right now, I attempt to do this through farming, and through growing food that may feed others in a way that brings them greater nourishment.

Sometimes I stumble.  I’m not always sure which step to take.  But I come back to this place, to this land.  I come back to the understanding that generosity is a form of peace.

So I offer this space to you.  I offer these words and the sharing of my journey. Thank you so much for coming along.

zinnia

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