My Farm Fill

I got my farm fill this week. But better yet, we met two more families and are making more friends.

Small scale, organic growing farm families are inspiring people to be around. They're not afraid of hard work. They usually have a lot of passion for what they do. And even better, they eat great food. At least these farm families do.

There is a strong local food undercurrent where we live. I say undercurrent because it's certainly not mainstream but it's mainstream-ish in our circles. And with the two families we met this week, it's their reality. They grow their own food. Sure they buy some, but they grow a lot of their own. And they use some innovative methods to do so.

They also barter what they produce with neighbors, because you can't do or grow it all. And isn't that the truth.

There is a strong tug in me to this type of lifestyle. Or maybe just a strong tug to be connected to people who grow food.

My life is not currently on a grow-your-own path. But our trajectory is moving us closer to those that do, and I'm so happy about that.

I was well connected in my Maine community. I knew growers and producers. I was part of buying clubs. I knew where to buy local food. We moved here last November, not the best time to find local farms. But this spring and summer I've made good connections. Connections with people who harvest and grow food - maple syrup, farm baskets, the tomato greenhouse, and friends who share from their backyard gardens.

I am so very grateful for all this.

Grateful for meals shared. We have been invited to eat with people more here than anywhere else we've lived. And people cook such good food - local fish, local mushrooms, local veggies, local wines and beers. Oh yum.

Grateful for our kids meeting with other kids, and working around the language "barrier". Grateful to spend time harvesting and weeding, working with the earth. Grateful to be sent home with bags of onions, apples, tomatoes, and zucchini.

Grateful for friends.

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  • Patraq

    Patraq on Sept. 9, 2012, 12:24 p.m.

    Having moved to a new state in February, I can really appreciate your gratitude. How have you met like-minded families? I could use some tips!


  • Catherine Forest

    Catherine Forest on Sept. 9, 2012, 5:41 p.m.

    Ohh! This is so great, Renee! I am totally in the same place than you are. After having our own little farm and huge garden, I feel pulled to be around people who grow their own food while we travel. While I know now that this lifestyle is way too sedentary for me, I LOVE spending time with people whose feet do not itch as much as mine and who made farming and self-sufficiency a reality for their family.


    • renee

      renee on Sept. 9, 2012, 6:59 p.m.

      Oh yes Catherine. I totally get that. And also I think of you often while meeting people here. Your family of course would fit right in being that are Quebeçois to begin with! Do you ever feel like your family values are somehow "less important" than the grow your own food crowd? I do sometimes. These friends never make us feel this way but the desire to adventure and travel seems less important than growing food to feed your family and community. Do you get what I mean? It's an interesting discussion... What I do know is that we place a high value on supporting local farmers and friends who grow food. I am happy to support their families financially, while they support us in healthy vegetables. Right now, that's as close as I can get to "growing my own".


      • Catherine Forest

        Catherine Forest on Sept. 10, 2012, 5:37 a.m.

        Yes, I do to sometimes. I sure feel like the farming families I met feel like we chose the easy route to happiness, that we prioritize fun before responsibility (for the planet, less consumption, etc.). When I was a farmer, I was so busy with the farm and transformation of product that my priority was the farm, not my family. I was not available like I can be now that we are traveling. Of course, gardening and farm chores are very grounding, but you are still in the doing and not much in the being...


  • Jennifer

    Jennifer on Sept. 9, 2012, 9:10 p.m.

    What beautiful pictures of community and fellowship! I often think it's so good that we ar not able to "do/grow it all" so we are forced to make and maintain human connections.


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