By Farmer Savannah
“Because if you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. You'll be doing things you don't like doing in order to go on living, that is, to go on doing things you don't like doing, which is stupid.
Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing, than a long life, spent in a miserable way”. -Allan Watts, Philosopher. Excerpt “What do you Desire” Lecture
Winter is the season of rest and reflection. The land is dormant and resting, animals are hibernating, and farmers are trying to plan for the season ahead. With planning ahead, comes reflection of the past. October 2021 was a complete year for me at the farm, one full season. I have spent most of my life in some sort of farm setting, even as a kid, and the last decade has been dedicated to it as a career. I often spend time in reflection, and how agriculture has formed me and matured me every year.
Growing up, I received a lot of backlash for wanting to have a career in agriculture. Family, friends, even teachers told me I wouldn’t be successful, or happy; that I’d simply ruin my body and all I would be doing was shoveling manure, all the while trying to figure out how to pay the bills. They pushed desk jobs and 9-5’s hard, stating that if I made a lot of money, I’d be successful, happy, and worry-free. That the “white picket fence, and perfectly manicured yard” was the happy American Dream we all should strive for (and for some people it is, and that’s totally fine). Somehow the overwhelming shadow of crippling college debt and being trapped in a building all day to make money, to pay for expensive, materialistic things to be happy wasn’t a selling point for me. Having white wooden fence, with pasture, and grazing animals was more of the dream I wanted to work towards. As life progressed, I noticed that a lot of people were sacrificing their happiness in an effort to make big money, and it became a goal for me to make what made me happy, a success.
Farming is in no- way easy, but it has taught me to embrace life, and gave me appreciation for the small things, especially those that often get overlooked. I have witnessed so many beautiful sunsets and sunrises, animals being born. Working in the outside elements and
conditions constantly makes me appreciate the “perfect” days when they come. I met the love of my life and best friend, both doing what we love. Life is put into a beautiful perspective when you love what you do, and you appreciate life. Shoveling manure has helped me work through a lot of my emotions. Providing a clean place for your animals to bed down in is satisfying and rewarding. As we evolve and mature, having a sense of purpose in life is really important. What our job is, takes up a lot of time. Farming cannot be done if your heart is not in it. You are responsible for caring for living beings and being responsible stewards of the land. Farming is understanding the biology of your environment, constantly adapting, and making decisions.
A community farm is a beautiful thing. It's a little ecosystem of biodiversity, stewarded by caring individuals. Its quality over quantity. Its supporting a local business, but also your own health. But one of the biggest things shopping locally supports, is its farmers. It's encouraging those individuals to choose a fulfilling career and lifestyle, and that the hard work is worth it. It's supporting one of the original “American Dreams” and supporting young people to continue in our footsteps. If you are reading this, I want to thank- you for the support.