I was at market today and finally the music was pretty good and people started dancing. There was a couple there that was really good. They looked like they were having a blast and enjoying every minute of the dance. There was another couple there that were dancing. They obviously new the steps and were right on rhythm and doing what they were supposed to. They seemed to be more technically correct in their dancing style, but they seemed to be so focused on following the rhythm and performing the technical aspects of the dance that it had lost its fun. The first couple was not obviously on rhythm, but they were much more entertaining because they were enjoying themselves and trying new things.
Yesterday we went to a potluck at a different farm. While their farm was much larger than the one we are staying on, it was still a small farm (~25 acres). They produced a whole lot of food and have mastered many processes that we seem to struggle with. They also have a tractor and workers who they pay along with large barns and green houses to help in their production. They are doing things sustainably and growing the foods that people most frequently purchase. It is technically a good operation and it makes a considerable amount of money.
Our farm is a mere 5 acres and has less than two acres in cultivation (we could call it a microfarm… or a jumbo garden). We don’t have a tractor because in the ideology of the owners, we need to know how to do without a tractor for when that time comes. We do everything by hand in the old fashioned way so that we can potentially survive if the country’s unsustainable practices come to an abrupt end. The way we do things sacrifices profits, but we are living according to our ideals and enjoying the simplicity of life while producing food for others.
Farming is a lot like a dance. There are some technical aspects that you have to abide by if you want to be considered dancing (or farming), but beyond that there are so many options. Most of the food we buy in grocery stores is produced by farms that do the electric slide in a slow, jerky movement over and over again. Nobody wants to watch it and nobody is really having fun, but it’s easy to do over and over again.
Organic farming is a little more interesting, but it is not until you get to the smaller farms that are really moving to their own rhythm that you find anything worth watching (or eating for that matter). When you find farms that grow food because it tastes good instead of because of its ease to grow, you find that the dance is a lot of fun and you want to join.
We are ready to join and create a dance unique to our family.