Wednesday, January 4, 2017
So you want to farm naked?! For years my answer to this has been an emphatic YES!!! All that lay between me and the goal was a not for the faint of heart search for farming land. While the ideal property (as well as ideal nutrition) lies off at a distance the start has taken place. As much as I told myself I wasn't going to fall for being naive, thinking I knew a lot and ending up being very humbled, I did just that! The start on farming my own land involved a move over a 1000 miles away to a radically different climate. This meant going from an oak Savannah in Southern California to a wet prairie in the Willamette Valley (Northern Oregon)!
With a plenitude of rainfall in the winter and nearly year-round green grass the challenges I have faced were unique. The competition from perennial grass plants when establishing a no till crop is not to be underestimated! But the extra effort is worth it! We have seen some amazing improvement in the farm ecology already in one year, including more songbirds dropping by, beneficial insects staying longer and species diversity increasing!
The fall and coming winter are a relief from day to day chores, allowing a cold season to plan, reinvent and improve methods/equipment (aka sharpening the saw). All in all this year we harvested over 300 pounds of pork, 120 pounds of chicken, 50 pounds of Turkey, 60 pounds of mutton, 40 pounds of root crops and 100 pounds of squash among other lesser items! And I have taught my first workshop on animal processing! This is something to be proud of considering the realization that we needed to use pigs to prep the soil before annual crops would establish in an annual system did not occur until mid spring!
Some days admittedly would have been drudgery had they not been done in the nude. For example, scything back walkway grass in 90 deg (F) weather! What a difference a breeze on the buns (thighs and elsewhere ;-)) makes! It's times like that that make a sensual pleasure out of an arduous chore. A spirit connection where a grudge could have built in the heart. Loving the land, the experience of working actively while comfortable and jumping into outdoor bliss all make me proud to call myself a nudist farmer in those moments!