My wife recently asked if I was losing my commitment to the farm. A reasonable question. With each piece of infrastructure we build, every tree we plant the farm takes shape and the investment takes a toll on us financially, physically, and emotionally. We aren’t getting any younger, in fact we feel decrepit.

Her question was not unwarranted as after more than 20 years in my industry I finally learned to roll with the constant change. I’m a manager now, I was when I was in my twenties and have avoided it. Now as reorgs happen and projects get cut or change altogether I have found myself less flustered, even optimistic. Things are going well for now and I have a heartfelt stiff upper lip. I am in a constant learning curve and I have a lot of jobs. I need to learn how to manage in this company, motivate my employees, figure out how our technologies work, and how to weave them together in compelling and usable scenarios. I have jobs as husband, father, business partner, and home handyman and mechanic. What I don’t know I try and learn – fast. I just got some odd health news, now I’m learning to eat no carbs and squeeze some daily exercise in too.

It takes me about two hours each way to get to work, miss the ferry home and add another hour. I don’t mind, I do it because I must, to be truly upset about it is just a waste of energy.

But yes I am committed. I am committed to my wife, without her I couldn’t do any of this. She is my love, my confidant, my best friend, my book keeper, child caretaker, and my dream sharer. I’m committed to my kid, but am not there as much as I would like. I am committed to my employees, my job, and my friends.

I am also committed to our farm.

This crazy thing has come to define me. It is the end to a search for meaning in the here and now. I am not afraid to fail, or take risks. My work has taught me to diversify and to have a plan B, and C, and D. I am a designer, more as a symptom of how I think. We get paid to create visual and interactive systems to make sense or use of technologies and real human needs. We get paid to fail too. We call it iteration.

That is farming.
I have a hill, so I plant on contour. I have excess water so I put it to use. People need healthy food but it costs too much so we plant feeds, harvest canary grass for haylage instead of spraying roundup. Systems. Technology. Design.

I’m tired, but yeah, I’m committed


About M. Agriculteur

Designer, motorcycle junkie, traveler, wanna-be iron butter (more butt than iron), builder, foodie, farmer wanna-be.
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2 Responses to Commitment

  1. Eumaeus says:

    It is good to love and commit.

  2. Bill says:

    Everything you’ve written here really resonates with me. Just last night we were talking about the fact that in planning how we farm, we have to stay mindful of our ages. We’re fit now (and in our early 50s) but time marches on. We also talked about how sometimes a long hot sweaty day (or a bitterly cold one) can make the farm/homesteading life seem not so fun. Whenever that happens to me I just think back to the high-stress office life I left behind. No matter how hard it gets on the farm, I surely don’t want to go back to that.

    I appreciate and respect how you’re working to achieve your goal. We planned and lived a frugal lifestyle for many years. For the last 7 years before I left my job I communted every week. I would catch a plane on Friday evening and fly home, then drive two hours to the farm, usually arriving around midnight. Then I work on the farm all day Saturday and part of Sunday. On Sunday afternoons I’d drive back to the airport to do it all over again. In the city I worked till late (so I didn’t have to work weekends), then came home to an empty apartment for a crummy supper alone. Obviously not a good way to live. But I kept my eyes on our goal and finally I was able to quit and come to the farm full-time. I write all this because I can relate to the two hour commutes and the missed ferry. Been there and done that. I know how it feels to be committed to the kids but not see them enough. I know how it feels to be tired and to feel decrepid.

    But now I’m on the farm full-time and living my dream. It isn’t all peaches and cream but I wouldn’t trade it for my old life. Commitment was an indispensible part of making it happen.

    Blessings and peace to you. Hang in there.

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