Since we’ve been on this path and sharing this journey, there are a few questions that people tend to ask over and over again:
Farming? Really? Why?
For me it’s all about planting seeds and watching them grow. There is something gratifying about seeing that miracle of life evolve. And then there’s the taste…fresh food grown in living soil tastes so good. We have been truly blessed this year to have developed relationships with customers who appreciate and enjoy the food we grow. Selling something that we have sowed, weeded, watered and harvested brings real satisfaction.
Aren’t you afraid someone is gonna steal your stuff?
People always ask this! They usually ask after we explain that we don’t have a fence (our plot is fenced on three sides). The front of the garden is right next to the sidewalk. People walk by all the time and comment on how nice the garden looks. For the most part, everyone has been thrilled with the farm. When we are not on site, our neighbors keep an eye out for us, but so far we haven’t had any problems.
We planned to have a fence to keep the groundhogs and dogs out, but haven’t gotten around to it. Last year when we were just growing in raised beds, the groundhogs came over for a dinner party and feasted on everything! Luckily most of it grew back and the groundhogs never returned. This year, while we’ve seen them (they actually live under the porches of several neighbors), they have stayed out of our veggies. I think we have an understanding with the critters in the area. A few weeks ago we saved a squirrel that had somehow gotten itself caught in the downspout. That seems to be giving us good karma with the animals. Knocking on wood that the truce stays in tact.
How do you find the time?
This is always a challenge for us. Spink works 4 days/week, which allows extra time to work on the farm. We also devote part of our evenings and most of our weekends to the farm. I guess it doesn’t leave much time for other activities, but somehow we manage. Since we enjoy it so much, it all seems worth it. We have also been lucky to have friends come and help us remove rocks, shovel compost and do other odd jobs. This has been a huge help.
Can you make any money doing that?
We would like to think so. We personally know a few farmers that are making a living, but in general with the incredibly cheap food produced by the industrial food system, small local farms have a tough time. Our plan is to produce such a superior product that people will be banging down our doors to get it. Additionally our mantra of “smarter not harder” will hopefully put us in a profitable position and I must acknowledge with our current careers our farm is highly capitalized, a position most farmers are not in.