Saturday, January 23, 2016

A farmer no more.

This is a picture of my new backyard. I like my new backyard it just happens to be about an acre or so smaller than my last backyard. This is the first year since 2011 that I wont be attending my organic farming conference this is the first year I have to admit I am no longer a farmer. Not that I was every really a real farmer anyway I basically just grew vegetables in my backyard and sold them at the office and a farmers market. But the USDA does classify anyone who makes a grand a year a farmer so I guess maybe for a few of those years I qualified if I fudge the numbers a bit. I loved being a little farmer it was the first time since the early eighties where I was heavily into punk rock (black mohawk and all) that I felt part of something larger than everyday life.

Big Big Vegetable garden in old yard.
I loved going to market on saturday mornings it was like a game show....waking up at first light tearing outdoors sometimes in my pajamas to pick the vegetables that I like to pick the same day going through the riggers of cleaning drying and packing them all up. Fitting them into my suv and then leaping into the shower and driving like a maniac stopping at Stewarts to get coffee and make sure I had enough small bills to make change. The first customer always showed up with a twenty and you had to be prepared. Racing to your allotted spot setting up the table and umbrella making the vegetable offering look as yummy as possible set the prices and then of course wait for the first customers to show up. It really was like a game show about 4 hours or work condensed into maybe two.

Trying to be a market farmer on top of a full time job and a lengthy commute proved to finally be too much for me. In the beginning I thought Tommy would get really into it and be a major part of the operation but he didnt take to it like I did and the majority of the work fell to me. So spring summer and fall had me getting home from work going out to weed and plant and weed weed weed then or course make dinner and go to bed. I did just prove to be too much paired with I was barely breaking even so when we started to think about moving I finally had to call it quits. So today instead of sitting in a class on permaculture or how to grow mushrooms I am sitting here at my kitchen table dreaming of spring.

The first seed catalogs have arrived and my garden in my little yard above is starting to take shape in my mind.  I love this time of year its the time of year where everything in your minds eye is perfect there are now weeds no insects and no disasters. Its all yet to be and thats nice. And as Bill Mollison says in this quote below growing even a portion of your own food is an act of rebellion. I like acts of rebellion remember the mohawk? I especially like when something is a rebellion but you would do it anyway it just makes it even better.

“The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.” 

So I might no longer be a farmer but I still will hopefully have a nice large victory garden an grow some righteous vegetables and of course get a little healthier in the process too. I gained 10 lbs since I stopped farming and since I was already chubby those pounds need to come back off. So now that even adds to the argument to grow your own food. Its bettter for you its good exercise and you can give the finger in a small way to corporate america. Im in!

a good haul on market day.

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