I once wrote an essay about my son Isaiah’s wish for a farm. He has a farm, of course, but he also dreams of a different one, the one in his imagination. What was funny was that all the adults that saw his wish understood it so very well. Many people tell me how much they want a farm. But other people show me that farms are easier to find than you think, even if they aren’t perfect. These are all real people, who I know. As i start our garden design class today, I started thinking about all the farm dreams I’ve known!
I know a man who wanted to start a farm. So he worked and saved for years and eventually went out and bought 500 acres, fenced it and grew corn and hay, and ran sheep and cows on it, and then he had a farm.
I know a woman who wanted a farm, so she sold her business, cashed out her retirement and bought 176 acres, four cows, a bull and a tractor, and planted apple trees, and then she had a farm.
I know a man who wanted a farm so he rented 49 acres, an old barn and a flock of sheep, and raised wool and grew plants to make dyes with and sold yarn at the farmer’s market and online, and then he had a farm.
I know a woman who wanted a farm, so she went out and bought 27 acres with her husband’s elderly grandparents and started a CSA, then raised vegetable plants, chickens, herbs and goats, and then she had a farm.
I know a man who wanted a farm, and he moved into his parent’s house on six acres, built a chicken coop, grew a garden and sold pumpkins at the farmer’s market and eggs to his neighbors, and took care of his parents and then he had a farm.
I know two women who wanted a farm who bought the 4 acre lot on the first house over the line into the country and got goats and chickens and let their children run across it while they raised the food to feed them, and they had a farm.
I know a woman who wanted a farm, and she looked down and saw that she had three good acres, and fenced them, and got a Jersey cow, a garden full of cabbages and some hens, and then she had a farm.
I knew a man who wanted a farm and looked out and realized that he was renting a good half acre, and talked to the landlord and got angora rabbits, chickens and a garden full of raised beds, and then he had a farm.
I know a woman who had a suburban yard full of forest, and who grew shade loving plants under the trees, gathered acorns for her chickens and worms for her ducks and grew mushrooms in woodpiles along the edges of her yard, and then she had a farm.
I know a woman who had a 30×80 lot, and she built a chicken coop, planted raspberries and basil against the house, got a community garden plot and is trying to convince her partner to let her get miniature goats, and then she had a farm.
I know a man who had no room in his yard for more gardens, but who talked to his neighbors and the city and found two backyards, a vacant lot and a corner of a church, and filled them with vegetables and flowers, and then he had a farm.
I know a woman who had no ground at all in her apartment, but had a balcony with bees on it and a dozen windowboxes full of lettuce and strawberries, worms in her kitchen and the right attitude, and then, she had a farm.