Life is always full of surprises. If you had asked me 10 years ago if I would like to be a farmer, I would probably have thought you were crazy. Today, I can’t imagine anything I want more. Or anything that makes more sense.
As creatures of the Earth, we evolve.
My evolution started slowly, over many many years. It involved countless discussions and encounters with strangers, friends and mentors. My goals started small and even before reaching them, they grew. At first I wanted to be self sufficient, to leave the smallest trace possible on this Earth that gives us so much. And so, growing food would be a big part of this.
In 2011 I finally decided it was time to grow my own garden. I always end up living in apartment buildings, which makes growing space a challenge, but I was determined. I started by planting seeds along my window sill, I cleaned up the parking lot behind my apartment, my neighbor provided me with a big load of soil and I gathered up unwanted growing pots from the alleys around my neighborhood. My worms in my kitchen even provided regular compost for my plants! I must admit, I was HOOKED!
By the end of my first summer with a garden, I felt successful. By no means was it perfect, there were definitely a few phone calls home to dad asking for advice on pests and possible problems. Definitely a few plants that just didn’t want to grow or produce food. This to me adds to the allure of growing though, working through problems, coming up with solutions, just going with it. I gotta say though, my tomatoes LOVED this spot, they ended up climbing quite high up the cement wall. I kept adding more support and they kept growing!
At this point I realized I wanted to learn more. A LOT more. I started reading all about food and growing. I’ve always been passionate about social and environmental movements and especially food. The more I learned about our food system and what rough shape it was in the more I needed to learn.
At the same time, I had also been trying to find something I could do to help support myself while living on my land. I would need to provide myself with an income. It actually dawned on me while listening to a podcast interview with Joel Salatin. I can’t remember the premise of the podcast but the message I got from the show was YOU CAN FARM. Strangely, the idea of farming had never even crossed my mind. That was the moment I realized I could have it all. I could do something I loved and turn it into a career. And I will!
I decided that from there, my next move would be to try out an internship. And so the hunt was on for that perfect place for me.
I ended up finding Nicole at Faires Farm in Parksville. I was born on the island and raised in Parksville but moved away mid childhood so this seemed like a great opportunity to learn more about farming, as well as rediscover a land I had always felt connected to.
Turns out I’ve made a great decision. Nicole and John are great people to live with and work for. The other employees and interns are also wonderful. I ask a lot of questions and we discuss all sorts of topics surrounding the knowledge of farming, urban agriculture, and young agrarianism.
I look forward to sharing my adventures and discoveries.
“When going back makes sense, you are going ahead.”
― Wendell Berry