At the end of the summer/beginning of fall we prepped about an 1/10 of an acre of garden, give or take, for planting in spring (this being in addition to our urban site). Our friends who live on a couple of acres were really helpful after the craziness that was our other farm this past summer. They were happy to allow us to farm and even put the hoop house we were getting there. We knew that they were planning on moving into the city in a few years, but they told us not to worry about that and that it was a ways off. What we managed to prep last year was not as big as we planned when we were still with our partners (we wanted to do a little more than double that, totaling maybe 1/3 of an acre), but after they left Jeff and I felt that what we'd done already was plenty big for just our little farm endeavor. We let go of the idea of the hoop house, and we resolved to focus on our other jobs and the micros. We still planned to farm, but also resolved to take a much more relaxed approach and just set ourselves work hours and do what we could. We planned to pop in at market when we felt able, not because we felt obligated. This would probably have been pretty successful given all the compost and mulch and straw that we had out at this new site, and also the fact that we invested in a drip watering system that would make things pretty hands off if we planned well. We ended up buying our partners out of the business, in part because we knew that we would continue to farm this new site. We were out there at the beginning of November planting a huge amount of garlic for next year.
Anyway, all this to say that I was having coffee with my friend (who owns the property) a week or so ago and found out that they are actually speeding up their plans for moving to this spring. When I asked if we should still plan to plant the site, she said we shouldn't. At this point, I feel like 2013 was almost comical. For real. I'm to the point where I just can't take it seriously anymore. I have enough faith in our mission and our path to know that it will all be fine. We are still a reliable, strong, happy little unit with great things on the horizon. Heck, even in spite of all this I know that we are still living the life we want, right now. What more could a girl want? But I still grow weary thinking of all the work over the past year and how it all seems to have dispersed back into the universe and not into the forms I had expected. I've always loved the old saying "An expectation is a premeditated resentment". Trying to gain perspective through that kind of meditation. You know, that you only have to take the next right step, that kind of thing. And in this specific situation, while I am weathering some feelings of disappointment, I also have feelings of excitement for my friends and their quest to live where they want and be happy. That's more important than my little farm site, for sure. So it's okay. And not. And that's kind of how life's been feeling to me lately. Nothing is black and white anymore.
Jeff and I were discussing this stuff and figuring out what we're supposed to plan on for the coming year. We came up with some good thoughts, I think.
First, could this actually be the year that we sell our house, get out on our land, and begin building our permanent home and farm? I mean, what if all of this perceived loss just a sloughing off of the excess? That's a scenario that I can live with, really. That our energy this year will be so focused on these specific (and very big) things, that managing another farm site and putting resources somewhere other than our family and land and home would be unwise. I likely wouldn't have seen that without the other site being removed as an option, purely because of all the work already put in there. I would have had to see it through in some capacity.
Second, I think that all of this is a very good test of our endurance. I don't really want us stuck in a life that we don't have the ability to manage well. We're choosing to live a life that will rely on our health and perseverance and our creativity. Not to mention, I was talking to a more experienced farmer last year who said that 6 out of every 7 years will be difficult, leaving 1 year with ideal conditions. And I assume that doesn't really include the extreme conditions that have been coming our way with climate change. That kind of life takes a resilient spirit, and I sincerely hope I'm up for the task. Which, to me, means that I have some refining to do. I have to root myself in the things that are stable, and I have to figure out what those things really are.