Be Relevant

Relearning everything we've forgotten.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

What are you doing right now?

That is an important question.  Joel Salatin owns and operates Polyface Farms in the Shenandoah Valley.  Those of you who live near him really should check his farm out.  It's about as close to organic farming as you can get and his mastery of integrating farming systems is incredible.  In his book "You Can Farm" he says he constantly gets asked by some one, "I want to start farming, how do you get started?"  His reply to them, "What are you doing right now."

You don't need land to farm.  This is a change in the paradox but its true.  If you have the space then farming is much easier.  But there are so many others with land that you could use.  It could mean renting the land or some other arrangement.  It could mean joining your local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) which is a great way to get your vegetables and in some areas your meat and dairy products.   You can join a community garden or even start one if your area has a ton of land.  (I actually talked to my housing complex and they weren't too thrilled about this.  If we weren't trying to move I would have pushed the issue.) Or you could volunteer your time on a farm.

This is the approach that I am taking.  La Milpa Organica Farm is about 30 minutes north of me near Escondido.  They actually have apprenticeships where you live there for at least 3 months and learn.  Since I all ready have job I can only volunteer my time.  So for the foreseeable future I will be there on Saturdays and Sundays.  I volunteer my labor and they teach me organic farming.  I persuaded Mel - actually since it was my birthday weekend she said whatever you wanted to do this weekend, I truly have the best woman in the world - to go with me today.  We were only there for about half the day but we all ready learned about low cost, low maintenance drip irrigation.  How to hook up and install it.  That's information totally worth some weeding and shoveling.

Plus it helps that they send the volunteers home with some fresh produce for their labor.  Mel won't stop snacking on olives canned in brine.  Such a buttery taste.

So when it comes to what you want out of life - what are you doing right now?


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