Romanticizing Farm Life

I’m an idealist. I imagine things in the most vibrant colors, with the most amazing outcomes possible. I’m married to a man who calls himself a realist, but realistically he’s a pessimist. So when I finally convince him that whatever it is I’m dreaming of is a good idea, I am thrilled.

I was thrilled when he agreed that we should start a vegetable farm. I was enthralled with the prospect and would constantly search for the “right place” for us to grow children and food. I dreamed of cool breezes under the fruit trees as we picked perfectly ripe pears and apples and ate the best of them immediately. When we found this place I felt in my gut that it was a pipe dream and beyond our reach, but felt magic sparkly happy feelings about it like I had felt about no other place. Apparently, in this case, my idealism worked to everyone’s advantage and we ended up moving to our own little paradise last March.

I knew that farming was full of risk and hard work. I knew that we would spend nights irrigating and lose crops and have our hearts broken in a thousand small ways. Since we have started this journey we have had plants fail to germinate, killed out by bugs, apple blossoms get blown off the trees, peaches disappear, a bear break into the chicken coop, a coccidiosis outbreak, guineas that just flat out disappeared, flooding in our house, and lots of other hurdles. We have faced repairs of our new home, a steep learning curve in the fields, and all the stress that comes with organizing and starting a small business. It’s a lot.

But every now and then I just sit down with my children and husband and youngest brother and enjoy the cool breeze under the fruit trees. There is always work to be done. It’s a constant job just weeding the garden. In spite of the work up to my eyeballs though, we are incredibly lucky to live in a place that is filled with incredible natural beauty. I saw turkey poults running up the hill yesterday behind their mother. A leopard frog surprised us all by jumping out of the tall grass next to our yard. Our chickens get to roam free and our dog gets to patrol the fields. We are growing nutrient-rich, wholesome foods for our family and for other local families. And there is a creek. In New Mexico. An actual creek.

I romanticized the idea of farm life for sure, but I also knew what we were getting ourselves into. It has proved to be as rich and as vibrant as I had hoped and as time-consuming and labor-intensive as I had imagined. I don’t think that our children will have any idea how lucky they are to grow up here, but we will do our best to instill a respect for the land and their own Western heritage in them.

I still can’t get over it… We live next to a creek.


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  1. SBG

    August 9, 2013 - Reply

    Farm life: always something to be done, but you get to do it on your own timeline. Welcome to the neighborhood.

  2. Phil Duncan

    August 9, 2013 - Reply

    And we get to live next to you! Thanks for coming to this magical place. You have only made it better.

    • Jessica

      August 9, 2013 - Reply

      Thank you, neighbors! You’ve been an incredible blessing to us and saved my sanity on more than one occasion.

  3. brent tanzy

    August 9, 2013 - Reply

    That appears to be a tomato horn worm dear.
    Ya might want to introduce him to your chickens :)

    • Jessica

      August 10, 2013 - Reply

      I introduced him to the bottom of my shoe. He was in my chiles (which I think is absolutely unacceptable).

  4. Kim W

    August 25, 2013 - Reply

    I am so enjoying your Blog & super happy to be moving to the canyon (even if my creek bed is dried up) I too romanticized this life & most of the time it still feels like getting roses every day from your first love.
    If you ever figure out the trick to getting your pessimist to come around to new ideas quickly, please write a blog. I still haven’t gotten that part down after 13 years..

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