One of my favorite memories from childhood is going to a local farm stand every August to buy beautiful, fat, juicy New Jersey-grown tomatoes; they were hardly sliced before they were devoured! The tomatoes were followed by a couple ears of perfectly white sweet corn crisp and fresh! We looked forward to those vegetables all year, and it became a family tradition. This is one of the many reasons that I love farming.
Food brings people together and keeps them healthy. By providing fresh food, farming supports the local economy, builds community, protects land from being developed, and supports healthy eating habits and lifestyle. Every time I pass a farm and I see a tractor off in the distance with smoke coming out of the farmhouse chimney, I feel safe. I get a feeling of productivity and self-sufficiency and it just makes me feel calm and peaceful. So for me, farming is good for the soul too.
I plan to focus on soil health. I want to make sure that my plants have what they need for a strong start and healthy life. Plants are just like us, if raised on a healthy diet with proper nutrition, they are much better able to fend off diseases and pests. I plan on growing naturally so that I can provide delicious produce that has not been touched by any synthetic spray or fertilizer. Rather than differentiating between organic and conventional farming, I'm just farming with respect to natural practices and old school methods with the benefits of modern machinery here and there:) I will focus on cultivating one acre at a time to keep my labor down and to know exactly who I'm feeding! If there's a demand to grow more, I'll share that information with another beginning farmer and help them get started. I definitely want this farm to have an educational aspect.
Growing up, I was always off in the woods, watching bugs or up in a tree imagining living in the country. I guess I haven't changed much:) Simple, wholesome, local, sustainable... that's the plan. I've wanted to be a farmer my whole life, I just didn't know it. Well, I could write all day so I'd better stop there, but I leave you with this...it's never too late to get started on living the life you've dreamed of.