Recently I have been asking myself a question over and over. I must answer this question wisely and of sound mind. I must be able to stand firm on my footing. I must not waver from my stance. If I’m not an expert I am a fraud! I play high school debate in my head all day long.
I ask this question to myself when I sit at my desk every morning as I LITERALLY push paper around and every time I have to say yes to something my workload can’t handle. Oh, I have to print another 3000 letters in opposition to California Prop 37? I’m just sitting here. In those moments I holler in my head “If ONLY I was on the farm! If only I was weeding or moving the mobile chicken coop. Shoveling horse manure is more engaging than this!” And as I continue to defend myself to myself I find the reasons flooding in faster and stronger.
I felt radicalized long before Food Inc. was released. I knew about the Food Industrial Complex. Big Ag, Big Oil, Big Everything. I had been a progressive grassroots/shop floor union organizer for Starbucks in the mid-aughties. This opened my eyes to how our world’s goods are controlled- how the corporation is surpassing the state in power. Scary stuff. Learning the who/what/when/where/why and how about the cups of coffee I was serving made me furious. I was also learning how to cook around the same time. I had known what “Organic” meant but after some other reading/learning on the subject I became furious all over again. I would often share these angers in late night tirades with my mother. This education would take years. I was busy being a working class hooligan, roadie, and amateur rockstar, ya know? My mother always knows how to nudge and guide without being overt. Later she would turn me on to Joel Salatin, Nourishing Traditions, Michael Pollan, Henry Brockman, J. I. Rodale, and Carla Emery.
In 2009 I had low laying, sub-sub conscious inklings that someday I might live in the woods and subsist on ice cold stream water and a foraged vegan diet. Then in 2010 I married the most beautiful woman. Stasha is beyond anything I could have imagined or dreamed. For the first year we were married we worked under the same roof. We would wake, sip coffee, eat breakfast, go to work, eat lunch together, work a little more, go home, eat supper, read, watch movies, play games, then fall asleep in each other’s arms. It was a most amazing honeymoon. We shared our little dreams, then slowly the big ones. You want to live in a tiny cabin? Only heated by wood we cut? Growing our food? Selling goods we make with our hands? Raise a family without the constraints of corporate 9-5 jobs? Compost? Vermiculture? ME TOO! I was introduced to Stasha’s friends working their farm. Goats and ramps! Composting toilets and heirloom tomatoes! Making pennies was always our modus operandi. We don’t have $50,000 for a down payment on acreage. How to do this? We wanted to farm so badly, but we just couldn’t see how. Slowly the dreams began to fade into the background. Living in the big city, taking a corporate job, and bills.
My folks live in Elk River, MN. They have 2.93 acres, part wooded and mostly open yard. Mid 2012 we were over for dinner. Mom and Dad had a few things to say. Tear up the yard, plant some vegetables, and sell em to friends. We were flabbergasted. Dad said the less yard he has to mow the better. We immediately began transporting truckloads of horse manure. We arranged disking the yard. We sowed winter rye and prayers. Weekends now became one long workout- what you have seen posted on the blog. We love it.
Supermarkets are serving you meat that was abused, is full of antibiotics, contains fecal soup, and is very low in nutrition.
Unsustainable big agriculture is destroying the most geologically diverse nation in the world (America).
Monocrops are sucking every bit of nutrition out of our soil. When the nutrition is gone the soil is sprayed with synthetic chemicals that seep into our water supplies.
Cows are herbivores. Grain is not a part of their natural diet.
The majority of Americans eat out of a box and don’t know where carrots come from.
Factory farmed eggs are crap. Washed of their natural antibiotics. Just try to poach one.
There is slave labor in tomatoes fields.
We desire responsible and sacred stewardship of the Earth.
Because this is our dream, we will fulfill our destiny to be multigenerational, diverse, sustainable, organic farmers.