Earlier this summer the family was on vacation in California. One leg of the trip was to visit Sequoia National Park to experience the BIG trees. While in the area we stayed rented out a lovely house on a cool little organic farm. Having our own organic farm with a B&B has always been a daydream of mine. This vacation not only taught me that running an organic farm is a LOT of work but it’s also a great place to simply visit and enjoy. Here are some pics from the adventure and my top take aways about how tough it is to farm.
3 Simple facts that make farming (organic or otherwise) not for whiners.
- You’re at the mercy of Mother Nature. If your main water supply is from a well or a natural spring and it doesn’t rain — you’re screwed. When we visited California it was in the middle of a huge drought and the organic farm pickings (literally) were pretty slim – meaning produce you can sell is scarce meaning your income is no longer coming in. It also means you have to respect every drop of water we used on the property. Every possible drop of water was directed to the produce. Say hello to brown grass and good-bye to relaxing showers.
- It’s freakin’ hard physical labour. There is very little romance about farming. You’ll be shovelling, chopping, pruning, pinching and planting lots of stuff all through the growing season then you are picking, preserving and storing everything for the off-season. There is no rest for the wicked. I will say, our host was in tip-top physical shape though!
- There’s critters out there! Between sweet little bunnies chewing their way through your produce, pollinating bees, spiders, creepy crawlies in the earth and even bears – you have to be prepared to deal with the surrounding wild life. The night before we arrived at the farm a bear helped himself to all of the apples he could eat from the lower branches of a heritage apple tree and then he proceeded to trash the tree and rip off branches. So much for bringing the fruit to market or preserving some applesauce for the winter.
Enough about how tough farming is. The fact is, many cultures around the world have lost their connection with how to live off the land and it’s something we have to get back to. Maybe someday my husband and I will have the land to give it a whirl on a small scale. I have nothing but respect and praise for those who are willing to get outside and do all the hard work to help feed the rest of us. As the bumper sticker says “Farmers Feed Cities”. That they do and I am forever grateful. Here are some pretty shots of the property and produce. Enjoy!
Anita Marie – @OrganicExpert