These Women Farmers See Their Fields as an Organic Classroom, Part 2

| 10/6/2015 10:04:00 AM

The following profile has been excerpted from Planting A Future: Profiles from Oregon’s New Farm Movement.  Read Part 1 of the Vibrant Valley Farm profile.

Now two years into their farm, both women admit it’s been a challenge, but both also express complete happiness with their decision.

“It’s hard, but I love this life,” Elaine said. “You eat what you grow. It’s very creative. It’s outside. I’m my own boss. It’s really nice to come up with our own schedule. We have so much fun working together. We take time off to make sure it’s still fun, but we just laugh a lot. The best job I’ve had thus far, for sure.”

“It is fun, but it’s also important to be able to be okay with the lonely time,” explained Kara. “I mean if you come from the city and you’ve got a lot of energy, you have to be able to step back and realize that the lonely time is a beautiful thing. And our culture has none of that… it’s like, next screen, next screen, next screen… it’s so intense. This helps you shed a lot of that. And another thing the farm teaches you is letting go. I’m getting into some philosophy over here, but it’s true. It teaches you about your life. Your relationship with yourself. Your relationship with everyone else. Your relationship with the land, and that you cannot be attached to anything.”

Elaine continues, “We always talk about the mandala of it. You work so hard to create this patchwork quilt of food… this artwork basically. And then it’s turned into the ground. It doesn’t disappear, of course, but you have to start all over. But each year is a fresh start, and you’re ready because by Spring, you miss the smell of the dirt and that righteous tiredness that comes with all the Spring preparation. You’re excited to get back at it. And that’s why we take winters off, which is super important for us. I think people who do year-round farming are badasses, but for me, I know that would mean burnout if I didn’t have winter off.”

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