Thursday, January 08, 2009

"So do"

So I've had a lot of time on my hands the last few days. I'm in the midst of some impromptu layoff from my editing job. We finished our first project and then--wham!--no more work for me. For the time being, they say. More work to come soon, they say. It's a bitch because I've been broke for months since I spent the spring, summer, and fall learning how to farm for no cash money. And then Christmas came. And this new job was supposed to be nonstop work until at least March or April (which would have been good timing). But all the sudden there's some sort of work stoppage for a reason I can't quite figure out. I guess that's the downfall of working freelance.

Anyway, the plan was to save up a small amount of money so that I could do a full time apprenticeship this coming growing season. Last season was part time, and though I learned a lot, I feel like I need to be at the farm all the time in order to really grasp it all. So after a few months of saving I thought I'd find a place that would offer me some sort of small stipend plus room and board so that I could at least pay those mandatory bills while apprenticing.

Though my current work has stopped, I'm not too worried about the plan. One way or another I'm going to be farming this year, even if I have to take drastic measures. Ideally we'd like to go out to western North Carolina because I'm just in love with the mountains, culture, and climate. There are a few cool apprenticeship options out there that I've found that seem to be nearly perfect. The other option is to go back to the farm I was at last year and come up with some way to make money, whether it be through procuring grants for the farm or selling excess crops at the farmers market.

These past few days have given me a chance to reflect on and research a lot of things. I really want to make the move to NC. And I really want to farm out there. I've discovered some tight communities in the mountains that really seem to know how to share and coexist without going all commune on your ass. For me, there really needs to be a happy middle. And there's a strong desire to pass along farming knowledge to a currently way-too-small generation of younger farmers. The local food movement is really thriving in the Asheville area, and many people genuinely care about the quality of their food, where it comes from, and how it is grown. Not to mention you have the best of nature and the best of city life so close together, in my opinion. The way I see it, now's the time, even if things aren't perfectly set up for us to do it. Apprenticing in the area I want to settle and farm in would be a great way to transition into a community, rather than spending another year here in Wis. and then plopping down on some land one day in the future.

But you never really know what's next. I could end up staying in Wisco for the rest of my life, which wouldn't be bad if I didn't hate the winters so burningly. I guess I could learn to cope. But it's getting close to a time in my life where I feel like I need to settle down for awhile. It's a critical time, you might say.

Well, we've got a few weeks to figure it out. We'll procrastinate, as usual.


If you can identify where the quote in this post title comes from, we might could be friends. It's from a TV show. Here's the rest of it: "Hello fellow American. This you should vote me. I leave power. Good. Thank you, thank you. If you vote me, I'm hot. What? Taxes: they'll be lower... son. The democratic vote for me is the right thing to do, Philadelphia. So do."

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