I’ll be the first to admit it: I’m definitely a dreamer. I’m constantly mulling over possibilities in my mind, from the contemplative (“What if I was from a different country?”) to the ridiculous (“How awesome would it be if I had three arms?”). Something will spark one of these thoughts, and I’ll wind up daydreaming about my three-armed life or my alternate British self for a minute or two before getting back to whatever I was doing.
Ever since I started working for Hobby Farms, my daydream tangents have frequently started turning to what chicken breeds I’d like to keep or which veggie varieties I’d like to start growing. I currently live in a second-floor apartment that doesn’t get direct sunlight, so my chicken-keeping and gardening endeavors are on an indefinite hold, but that doesn’t stop me from playing through scenarios in my mind where I wake up in the morning and harvest fresh produce from my garden and collect still-warm eggs from the nest boxes in my coop.
I’ve been chastised in the past for having my head in the clouds instead of focused on the here and now, but I take Gloria Steinem’s above quote to heart: dreaming really is a form of planning. It may not necessarily be a concrete one, but where else do ideas begin if not with thoughts and dreams? I may not be able to start gardening or backyard chicken-keeping any time soon, but when that time comes, I’ll already have a head start.
I think this sentiment is especially applicable to farmers, homesteaders and rural dreamers alike. We’re always thinking of ways to better our gardens or brainstorming new recipes to try out in the kitchen, and unlike other daydreams—I’m looking at you, Three Arms—we have the power to make them come true. Dreaming of a particular chicken breed to add to your flock? Keep your eyes on hatchery catalogs, and before you know it, you’ll be raising those Lakenvelders you always dreamed of. The same goes for heirloom vegetable varieties or that redesigned compost pile: all of the hard work you put into farming stems from a dream, and if you keep working toward that dream, before you know it, it could come true before your eyes.
So, instead of feeling guilty the next time you catch yourself in an agricultural daydream as you’re tilling the garden or mucking out the livestock stalls, take Steinem’s words to heart: you’re merely planning for your ideal farm, and that dream lies at the heart of why we farm: it is, after all, a profession of hope.