Sometimes we get caught up in things that we’re reading, written by those who are the “pioneers in the field”, or “fathers of Permaculture”, and we think that their beliefs or the techniques which they espouse are sacrosanct; not to be messed with, questioned, or contradicted. Then again, I don’t believe either of us are used to following anything blindly. The reason I’m on this train of thought is that Sue has been reading publications by Joel Salatin, who is – perhaps – most popularly known for his farm’s appearance in Michael Pollan’s very well received book entitled The Omnivore’s Dilemma; she has been closely studying Salatin’s book You Can Farm. In it, he attempts to provide a road map for those who are considering getting into farming; his title tag-line is “The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Start and Succeed in a Farming Enterprise.” Additionally, Sue purchased “The Salatin Semester,” a dvd series, and had been watching them to learn techniques and perspectives on farming for sustainability and for profit.
HOWEVER, one of the things Salatin discusses is starting too late in your lifetime; he gives a warning to those over 45 that they really need to honestly assess their abilities. He says, “As age increases, the following things happen: physical stamina lessons and emotional stamina lessens.” We all know these things to be true to some extent and – to be fair – he recommends working with some younger people who can help out with the physical tasks and provide needed support to help you roll with the punches. And also, at one point, says, “the only thing worse that getting a late start, is not starting at all.” We are trying not to get too locked in to the “you’re too old to be doing this” mind-set, and when Sue brings it up, I just have to counter with “I don’t believe that.” And I truly do not. Farming truly is a life, and we hope to make it a business, there is no age limit on life! Nor, for that matter, on doing business.
Sue has so much stamina and “stick-to-it-iveness” that I believe she is the last person in the world who will let something as trivial as a number stand in her way of making her dreams come true. She’s already proven nay-sayers wrong for most of her adult career! There is something to be said about beginning an enterprise once you’ve retired. She has a regular income already and we will be adding to that income soon by selling products raised here on the property. The only way we can go is up~ as far as I see it.
There are others who are of this same mind set. One avid Homesteader, who Vlogs and Blogs under the moniker- Becky’s Homestead -has recently posted an encouraging word for those who wish to begin after 55, or even 65 – here’ the link, if you’re interested. AND, even the person who is considered the father of Permaculture, Bill Mollison, believed what we do in the NOW matters, regardless of the size of our endeavor. He says (and I have used this quote before), “The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone.” That’s our over-arching goal, feed ourselves and feed others… we hope to make a profit along the way. I don’t believe that there is an age limit in doing this. We may want to add “internships” sometime along the way, or allow 4-H members to have their livestock on the property in exchange for some help; but all that goes a long way to completing the idea. And Permaculture isn’t just about what we can do for today, or how we can get immediate returns; it’s about creating a future reserve, helping our immediate surroundings to provide for those that come after, planting trees that will be “casting future shadows” – that’s Bill Mollison again.
So, if you read the blog on a regular basis and think “why the heck are they doing this at their age?” Please remember that, we understand we might not see the complete and total fruition (ha!) of the overall concept, but I am confident that we will be able to reap the benefits of the work: healthier, happier living gained by planning for the future, designing and creating our personal environment, and simply watching the dream grow. We continue to encourage our friends and family to visit us and see, first hand, what’s happening here on the ol’ homestead, and experiencing the progress that we’re making. Yes, experience it. It is an adventure every day!
Until then, as always~
Thanks for reading!
Today’s Weather: Well, as I finish this blog, it is after 11:00 p.m., at this late hour, it’s currently 58°. That’s quite a warm night for us. My phone says that the high was 78°, but I’m not very sure of the accuracy! I do know that is was a beautiful day and amazingly clear. Tomorrow’s high is only forecast at 64°, and we’ll be windy, with a low of 29°. As you see, our weather varies day to day.
Egg Report: If you follow us on FaceBook, you know that yesterday we celebrated the laying of the first Easter-Egg! It was a beautiful light green. The other two that day were pure white and we know those belong to two of The Three Sisters (they are the Hamburgs that were raised together and always hang out together, thus – “The Three Sisters”). I love the Hamburgs, they have little polka dots on their tails. Anyway, back to the report… three eggs yesterday. Today, we had three eggs as well, but I believe, one of them was from a Buff Orpington, (which may be a first there as well) because the egg was buff and it was larger than our other buff colored eggs which are usually laid by Maeve or Immen.