On the one hand, there are many people - more and more all the time, it seems - who want to farm. Small-scale, local, organic, sustainable - many people have this dream.
I think the dream is also about having "real" work, work that makes your muscles tired at the end of the day, work that connects you to community and to nature.
Not that I have this dream myself or anything. Nope. No way. Not me.
I suspect that farmers look at us these people and they laugh and laugh and laugh. They know what it is to live on a shoestring and watch the sky desperately for rain (or, in the Lower Mainland's case, the opposite). They know what it's like to do the hard work once the enthusiasm runs out. They know what it feels like to be up to your elbow in a cow's nether regions. (I saw that on TV once.)
But some of these farm folk, these clear-eyed, experienced, hard-working people, want to retire. It's a problem, I've heard. Family farms where the kids (who know all about the hardships) don't want to farm but the parents - in spite of their realism - don't want their land to turn into rich-people horsey enclaves or gated communities or condos or strip malls.
Slow Foods Mama and her family are looking for a farm.
"Chatting with Joel Salatin about our farming aspirations and the challenges we face in finding our forever farm, he made a point that stuck with me. We must not forget that there are lots of old-timer farmers out there with the opposite worry: how am I going to get OUT of farming?"
(sheesh. Talk about name-dropping. No offense to Slow Foods Mama - all admiration, in fact.)
Can you help them find their farm? Make a comment on this post on their blog.