I’m settling in to the rhythm of life here nicely. Only two weeks and it’s hard to believe life was ever different than this. When I was watching my kids full time, I often found excuses to go to the store. Mainly it was to get out of the house, but I could always find something we “needed.” to justify the trip. Since i have been at the farm I have not made a single trip to the store. I have hardly left the farm it seems. And that is just fine with me.
In many ways life has slowed down considerably. I’m not pulled in thirty different directions. At the same time, however, there is lots more to do. I have barely touched our education garden which is in desperate need of some love and attention. There always so many things that need to get done on the farm. The difference is that everything that needs to get done has to do with my own sustenance and the lives of the people around me. My work here is never in vain.
Some of the things that felt most productive in my previous life (pre-farm) were in reality not accomplishing much at all. Far from the efficiency of industrial agriculture, the productivity here also includes play and building community, sharing stories and meals. We produce so much more than food, because we put so much more than simple labor into it. That is something that cannot be produced by agricultural science. Just like the many elements of compost that benefit plants beyond the synthetic fertilizer formula of Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus, there are so many elements of a sustainable life that don’t fit into equations.
There are times when life here seems inefficient and unorganized, but I’m also beginning to see the benefits of organizing our lives that way. There are a lot of ways the farm could run more smoothly. Those changes will be good and helpful when they are made, but they will still be there for us to work on tomorrow as we work on the areas of life and work that sustain our bodies and souls today. Efficiency and productivity can wait. Real life can’t.