Friday, June 21, 2013

Finding a Life of Serenity and Peace

There is a serenity and a peace to farming which mixes well with writing.


   I think I have the answer to why a lot of writers are also farmers of one thing or another. (This includes being vintners) Farming can be something which can be done in solitude, and since a huge amount of farming is done between four am and nine am, leaving a lot of time later in the day for writing.  In addition, doing mindless hard work of some kind is very helpful in terms of organizing writing.  There is also a rhythm and a structure to gardening or farming which is helpful in terms of providing a framework to a writer who sometimes does not benefit from such large blocks of unstructured time,which could be used for nothing more than procrastination.
                I used to wonder why people continued farming when it was such hard work and when some years it yielded so little money.  I understand now. Small scale farming allows time for writing and other pursuits later in the day.  It opens your family to an entire group of farming culture, which is indeed a culture of its own.  There is peace and tranquility in the satisfaction of working with God to produce a sustainable product. It's not that God needs us to do this, it's that we share in the stewardship of growing or breeding something, and in this small way, we become part of the tapestry of producing a natural product.

                All this said, I am an abyssmal farmer.  I lose more money farming than anything else.  However, I have a routine, some wonderful farming friends, and I gain many things from the endeavor itself.   We grow a variety of trees including royal paulonia.  We grow pears, including the Asian variety.  We grow apples.  We grow blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, kiwi and grapes. Cherry trees, peaches and plums should be coming in the next couple of years.  The trees were long since planted but we have needed them to be well established before culling the early fruits, as the trees were not yet ready to sustain the weight of maturing fruits.  We keep chickens and ducks for eggs.  I have a lovely herb garden with mint of all kinds, chives, and a broad range of items.  We raise alpacas, miniature horses and dogs.  We also have two cats.  When the kids were smaller we used to breed rabbits.  In the past we have grown vegetables as well.   This year I have a variety of lettuces and swiss chard.   Most of the food we grow here is for family use. Occasionally we give eggs to a friend, or they provide a ton of squash to us.  I might never make money from my farming adventures, but we do eat inadvertently organically from our intent to be as self sufficient as possible, simply because it is a considered and less expensive way to live.
               Who knows ?    Eventually I might find an animal or a product for which I am financially successful.  Eventually perhaps being really good to the animals will pay off.

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