Several years ago, Angela Witmore apprenticed with us, she is a GREAT ARTIST, who painted an AMAZING PORTRAIT of Luther Baily from the North Asheville Tailgate Market.. We hope that today she continues to use her gift, in painting portraits of people and farms, as it is such a great way for preserving history and for educating others of our varied cultures.
Just last week we received an email from Angela’s brother, who visited the farm while she was apprenticing, and is currently working on a farm who wrote us inquiring if farming, “continues to be a source of discovery and joy”. That to us, is that he gets it, and that is something each and everyone of us should be asking ourselves daily about our jobs, goals and objectives. Throughout our life, society has defined one as being “successful”, based on how much money one earns, how big ones home is, the type of car one drives, etc.
We on the farm don’t live in a big house – we live in a trailer – but we do have a LARGE greenhouse with food growing in it. Is this considered successful? Our t-shirts and clothes are worn out because we only purchase one outfit each year. One of our vehicles is relatively new and runs well, while the others it seems, needs daily maintenance to keep them going. As we near retirement, without much savings or a retirement investment portfolio, there are times when we feel we are not successful and have made poor choices in our lives.
For certain, we find discovery and joy almost daily, so perhaps that sums up why we have chosen to farm. When working with Mother Nature, there are no constants, which is why discovery occurs daily in our lives. Also, we have so much joy, too much to write about. But a few of our joyous moments are…
- Waking up each morning, knowing that Carl and I are going to spend another day together
- Every day, when there is no cloud cover or fog, looking up at Bluff Mountain.
- Entering the propagation greenhouse, during our growing season, just to see so many seedlings near the beginning of their life.
- When Kaiser catches a ground hog or opossum.
- When Harmon, who has been sleeping in the house all morning while we’ve been working out in the fields, wags his tail with delight because he is so excited to see us.
- When it rains and Meadow Fork Creek is flowing fast and furious.
- Spring hikes in the woods when we see an astounding variety of wild flowers blooming.
- When we are so tired after a days work that we collapse into our bed with our dirty farm clothes on.
- Walking through the fields seeing potato sprouts appear above the soil.
- Cutting down a hemlock, then sawing it into lumber and admiring the beautiful grains, knowing that it was grown and raised right here on the farm and will be used for our building projects.
- Hoeing a bed of kale, after which looking back and admiring it without any weeds, knowing that the weeds will return before the next day.
- Having a crop of arugula or baby boc choi, that is free of holes from flea beetles, knowing this is a rare occurrence in our lives.
- Both our first and last harvest for the season.
- Placing tiny seeds directly into the soil out in the field, only to have them germinate a week or so later, knowing that we just got lucky.
- Knowing that 80% of the food we consume comes from us or our friends.
- And so much more
THANKS to all those who are dedicating so much of their life, time and effort seeking “discovery and joy”, rather than strictly “financial independence”, because it is these choices that will keep our planet healthy and happy. NOT CONSUMERISM. We know that many of our tailgate market customers, spend more of their budget on food than the average American, rather than use their hard earned cash for CONSUMERISM. We live in a GREAT place!
We’ve been enjoying hikes in the mountains this spring. Below are a few of the most incredible wildflowers making an appearance in the forest. My battery on the camera went dead or I would have photographed more.