I spent my free time this week getting ready for our first annual Guild Open House, which is coming up this weekend. The green house seedlings are sprouting, last years licorice, goji berry and rosemary bushes survived the winter and are showing strong leaf growth.
The baby goats and lambs will be out frolicking for those passing by and the farm store, creamery, bakery and fiber studio will be full of activities or information to share.
The whole idea behind our Guild is really to shed a different light on farming, the crafts that come from working with ones hands and creating products that are made with ingredients that can be produced on or at a farm and supporting local crafters who share a passion for the arts.
The guild was formed shortly after teaching a course with a professor at Bates at the farm. I called it Creating a Purposeful Life. An opportunity to begin looking at farming through a different lens. Students were given the opportunity to experience life skills on a farm and shared stories of interviews with elders in the agricultural field. The course ended with student presentations and a farm to table dinner that they produced from ingredients on the farm.
From this course then came an essay that I wrote. “The Art of Farming”. This essay was written as way to hopefully help not only those individuals who perhaps struggled with wanting to farm but not knowing how to convince family of their choice, but also to several individuals, who, over the last year, seemed very eager, for some reason, to share with me their opinion of farming as a career option for their child and or friends. One went so far as to inform our farm manager that she had no future on a farm and that she would never be anything but a laborer. I guess I didn’t know there was anything wrong with being a laborer. This comment was then followed by a list of a dozen or more things that we would never be able to acquire and hence be successful and apparently happy in life. Being a little confused by all of this, I thought I would approach my 89 year old father about the question of how he felt having been a farmer all of his life and if indeed he felt he was deprived in any way.
Although he didn’t regret choosing to leave the paper mill to pursue a career in farming, it didn’t come without a little bit of back lash from some of his siblings and his father. Each generation, including himself, wants their childs life to be easier than it was for them. I understand that. But, like my Dad, being on the farm and around animals is what made us happy. If you are happy at what you do, work is never really work, but rather another day to get a bunch of stuff done. I truly believe that abundance comes to those who are content with life. Perhaps my next blog will be about food security and with no farmers, where is it that you all are supposed to get your food from?
Anyhow Back to the Guild–The Art of Farming takes farming and gives it a different picture or phrase to define it. It offers an opportunity for people to start looking at it as a career option with benefits rather than one with none. It allows us to think about what is important in our lives and how does happiness play as a factor in our decision making process. Farming is an art and holds great potential for so many career options.
This weekend, through the open house, we offer all that come the opportunity to visit and see the many art forms that are created at Nezinscot Farm. More than anything, we hope to recreate the image that you may have about farms and that you help to encourage the next generation to jump on board.
Until Next Week