We did it. In the span of four months we decided to quit farming for a living, find buyers for all of our equipment and animals, sell off a household of stuff, locate the perfect RV via Craigslist, and take off with a few days to spare before Christmas. Four weeks later and Jim's worry line on his forehead has almost disappeared, our hands don't ache anymore, and we have learned to sleep in until almost 7:30am.
So what's the plan now that we are homeless and landless? Since our RV came with giant pirate stickers plastered all over it we decides to just go with that theme: Pirate Farmers. As pirate farmers we can travel the world, pull up anchor whenever we want, steal ideas from the rich and give them to the poor, and seek out the buried treasures. The treasures are the unsung heroes, the innovators and the passionate, the farmers and ranchers tucked into little valleys or mesa tops trying to prove that agriculture can nourish, can heal, and can be an integral part of the economic fabric of a region. We want to find out what makes these farms tick, what resources, luck, and grit got them started, and how they are working towards a harmonious blend of economic, social, and environmental success. We will lend a hand, provide some resources and ideas, and capture the story of the farm using photography, audio interviews, and writing. Our hope is that we can find some like-minded publisher who will help us turn this adventure into a book, one designed to help aspiring farmers or those searching for a new way of doing things, a sort of toolkit for creating a successful, sustainable farming business. We don't have all the answers, but we know that you do.
In the next few weeks look for a post on each of the farms we have visited thus far: Big Bluff Ranch, Massa Organics, and Soul Food Farm. If you have any ideas for our book or farms/ranches you think we should visit, please send them our way. Also feel free to track down Jim or myself (Rebecca) at the Eco-Farm Conference next week- we would love to meet you in person.
Photo: sunset at Big Bluff Ranch, CA. Taken by Rebecca Thistlethwaite