PHOTO: Kevin Doncaster/Flickr
Rachael Dupree
February 17, 2017

It’s funny; many people like Mr. B and me move to the country for independence: Independence from the restrictions of city living, independence in our food sources, and independence in the sense that we have this little piece of land that’s all our own and we can do anything we want with it. However, it’s our dependences that really make us stronger farmers.

As new and accidental farmers, we often feel like fish out of water. We know there’s a lot to do around our land, but we’re not always sure what exactly the tasks of the moment should be—or once we identify them, how to go about completing them. The community of people we’re cultivating around us have played an oh-so-integral role helping us be successful our first year.

Those Who Teach Us

We’ve been so blessed to happen into a community of people long-time experience with the land and what it means to live off of it. That wisdom is invaluable, and we’re soaking it up like sponges. We’ve learned how to test our soil so we know when it’s just right for tilling. We’ve learned how to go about gathering and hulling black walnuts for a farm-made gourmet treat. Friends have taught us how to coil up drip tape so it isn’t a big tangled mess when we go to lay it in the spring, and they’ve been there to brainstorm about the best way to start our seeds. This community knowledge is so important, and even though we know we’re going to make mistakes along the way, we know with their support, we’ll be able to get back on our feet, dust off our pants and try it again.

Those Who Provide Resources

As city folk, we came to our land with literally nothing to properly take care of it. But when you have good intentions, you will be taken care of. Some small-scale equipment came with our property, and friends and neighbors have been kind enough to lend out their tools to help us started: a grader to fix up our drive, a walk-behind tractor to prepare our garden beds, a bush hog to mow the fields. What we can’t do on our own yet, others are there to fill in.

Those Who Lend A Helping Hand

Nothing means more to a new farmer than friends who rally around your efforts, lending moral support and a helping hand. We’ve had friends come out to help clear out trees, brainstorm garden layouts, forage the woods, can tomatoes and more. These are real friendships. These are deep relationships. They’re the friendships that last a lifetime.

So despite coming out to the country for a little bit of independence, we’ve learned that we’re more interconnected than we’ve ever been—and that’s a wonderful feeling. Even better is the dependence Mr. B and I have on each other. We couldn’t do this without each other, and having the common goal of making this whole farming thing work is bringing us closer in ways we never would have imagined during our days in the city.



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