It's hard to believe that just three years ago we were in negotiations to buy our land. Land that we thought we were going to build a great big house on with a really nice yard and a super fancy front gate. That dream has flown the coop.
There never will be a huge house and a lawn seems like such a waste. I still think about a sturdy front gate but mainly because I love that scene in Jurassic Park when they drive through the big doors.
So what did we do instead? Well, I think it's no secret, we started a farm. We began with chickens...the gateway drug to a farming lifestyle. Then nonchalantly added a few pack goats. A year ago we brought home the first sheep and shortly thereafter the pigs. Dairy goats followed, then bees, and who could forget the ducks. We haven't looked back since.
Of course my favorite part is the animals. They really do fill our lives with happiness. There's a peace that comes from the steadiness of chores...filling up waters, milking, feeding, collecting eggs, scooping poop. Usually my mind is racing with lots of things to do, but when I do chores I stop thinking, and for those few hours, I just am. It's my favorite part of the day.
But then there's also the self-sufficiency that I don't think will ever get old. I love knowing where our food came from, how it was raised and how it was harvested. I am proud of every single step of the process. And, as we quickly found out...there is no accounting for the taste difference for animals raised on pasture.
I also love the sense of community that our farm has brought us, and I don't just mean our neighbors. I'm talking about the children who have come to our farm after their parents found us on facebook. And of course the moments we've shared with our city-dwelling family as Uncle Nick gives tractor rides and Auntie Rachael holds them to pet a pig.
I'm also talking about the farm friends we've made all over the world, who we learn from and whose words of encouragement mean more to us then you can imagine. There's a strength that comes from being part of a like-minded community. It's this coming together that I firmly believe will help change our incredibly broken food system.
And finally, the community we're growing for our own family. One year is nothing in the life of a farm. It's hard to look around without seeing all the projects that need to be done. But, if I squint hard enough I can see a pond teaming with fresh fish, and a tiny house for guests in the forest. I see lots of pigs running around and fruit trees lining our road. It's all there, along with things we haven't even thought of yet...because, as you know: This is just the beginning.
Thank you for celebrating our first year with us. Here's to many, many more!