Girl Out of Water - The Start of It All


| 4/28/2011 9:53:50 AM


Tags: farming, new farm, farming humor, Maura White,

First of all, let's just get this straight.  I am farming under protest.

I grew up on the beach in Southern California when there actually were sleepy beach towns.  We rode bikes to the beach by ourselves in fourth grade, surfed in the mornings before we went to high school or left at lunchtime if there were good waves.  We got certified in scuba before we could legally drive a car, and sailed up and down the coast.   Being raised in the heart of the hippie generation of the 60's and 70's, I was considered to be an earth-mother by my friends.  And I really was excited about buying a farm.

My husband's journey to this farm began in the fourth grade:  he wrote an essay saying that he wanted to grow up to be a farmer and a Marine.  An agriculture major in college, his plan was to be a forester or an extension agent after college.  Instead he did 27 years in the Marine Corps, moving every two or three years and dragging his family all over the world.  While he loved it, he always longed for a farm.  He also wanted to put into practice his belief that small family farms can actually feed a family and make them a modest living.

There came a point in our lives that it was time to start looking for that dream farm.  I assumed that it would take us YEARS to find the farm that fit all my husband's criteria:  as much land as we could afford with water on it and good drainage.  We looked at two farms the first weekend of farm hunting, and, WAM!, found and bought his dream farm.  So we listed our house for sale, assuming it would take months.  WAM!  It sold in a week and they wanted us out in a month.  We moved everything we owned into storage and started living in our trailer on our farm while building a small house.  We were on the fast track to farming.

I always thought I wanted to move to a farm.  I thought I actually WAS an earth mother.  I thought I'd love the peace and quiet.  Being a hard working woman, I thought I'd love the satisfaction of a hard day's work and the rewards that the earth shared with us.

And then we bought the farm.  The challenges at the beginning were so extreme, that I used the pun on the phrase "we bought the farm" more than once to describe how I felt:  that this farm would be the death of me, my husband, or both.




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