First Day of School

Today, farm school begins.  Today, the mental prep work ends and the physical work begins.  In the weeks and months leading up to this moment, I have sat with the words of many great farmer philosophers and I’ve not escaped unchanged.

I’m excited for what’s ahead.  Farm School will be an exercise in living simply, practicing gratitude, being responsible to a local community and learning to respect nature’s limits.  It will be a chance to use my body in tangible ways to connect with the awesome force that sustains life on this planet.  It is the promise of a more authentic and responsible way of living on this planet –  the sense of being in right relationship with place.  With each passing day my belief in this path has grown more resolute.  And for the life I have stretching out in front of me, farming feels like a sacred calling.

But as much as I have fallen in love with this line of work intellectually I am waiting to find out if I will appreciate it as much in its day-to-day practice.  I don’t approach this year expecting farming to be a tranquil existence.  I expect to be humbled by the work, challenged by monotony and to be a little bit lonely.  We won’t be getting rich, and if this were our farm, I expect I would be dogged by stressed.

And so, looking ahead to a year from now, Dina and I have a lot of questions for our future selves:

  • Is this a life we think we can really live?  Are we up for the physicality, the economic realities, the simplicity, the ruralness?
  • How hard is it really?
  • Is the struggle worth it?  Is my soul fed the way we envision?  Is this the “great unplugging” we’re hoping for?  Is there room for our highest ideals or will all our energy be going to practical considerations?
  • (Am I still really terrible at banjo?)
  • Are finances any more clear?  Is the land we envision attainable?  Can we be simple and sustainable without feeling destitute?

At this moment it feels like an immense ocean lies between today and the answers.  But we’re finally standing at the waters edge.  We feel small by comparison but enlivened by its presence.

Time to get wet.

PS – A huge thank you to everyone whose support is making this possible.  We are so moved by your love.

Future farmers by the fire


   Erik and his wife Dina are farmers-in-training who currently reside between Boston and Athol, Mass.  They write more about their mission to discover the divine through living closer to the earth at their website:

Plough and Stars Project — The real-time making of a modern-day farm family – One couples quest to grow anew, from the ground up.