Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Food and Farms, Home and Place

On Sunday morning our realtor showed us farmhouses. We trudged through tall grass, peaked through dilapidated barns, dreamed of chickens and pigs and apple orchards. I quickly started painting cabinets, pulling up carpet, and tearing down walls all within my mind's eye. And then we drove home to our town full of family, pulled up to our house, the first one we ever bought, and knew that those rolling acres, those pastoral parcels of earth we had just seen were not meant to be ours.

I often dream of farming, just like so many of my generation. I dream of ethical food and wholesome labor, dirty hands and messy kitchens. I romanticize and idealize and take my eyes off of my present.

The point being, I don't think I'm built for farm life. I think the things I would miss would outweigh the things I would gain. I am not ready to become a homebody, forced to remain on our land to care for animals while my family tumbles at the ocean's edge. I don't want to turn down invitations to visit friends in cities because cows needs milked and chickens need to be tucked in safely within their coop.

I want to opt out of the system. I want to be a somewhat passive part of the solution. I believe there is a better way to live, a way that is better for our earth, better for our bodies. I believe that food is a huge part of that. But I don't believe that I am the person to raise that food. I don't believe that my skills and talents, as limited as they might be, are best suited for more solitary days. Truthfully, I know I'd miss my mom.

So I'll find my own ways to avoid the system. Buy as much food as I can from the local foods store. Fight town hall about anti-chicken ordinances. Plant more native berry bushes and wait for the day they fruit.

I'll keep looking at farms, scrolling listings, keeping my eyes opened for real estate signs. Maybe one day the right one will speak to my heart. Beg me to stake my claim. But until then, here I'll stay. Near the water's edge. Near my family.

I vaguely remembered having similar homesteading longings about this time last year. I checked the archives and discovered that I had posted about them exactly one year ago.  I guess the start of autumn does this to me. 


  1. It's really great that you pretty much posted the same words exactly a year ago! I'm feeling relieved....I need that rope swing in my life.

  2. Perhaps sometimes we have to explore right up to the edges to realize where our centre is ... :).