January 02, 2023
DISCONNECTED AND TOO DEPENDENT
Our journey into growing our food, raising dairy goats, milking goats and learning to make cheese and kiefer, sourdough bread, jams, care for a beehive (still learning) and harvest our own honey, raise a small flock of hens - began in 2008 when Michael watched a video clip called Home Grown Revolution. Continue reading for Michael's story.....
It was 2008. At 56 years old I had never grown food nor worked with animals. After watching a 10-minute video clip, that all changed.
The video clip was about a family who grew their own food on 1/5 of an acre in Pasadena. Their story, though inspiring, left me with a terrible feeling of disconnectedness. With no experience growing food I felt a disconnect with my Creator, with nature, and with all those throughout history who grew their own food. I also realized at that moment how dependent I was on others to grow my food; I couldn’t grow food if my life depended on it! I resolved right then and there: “That’s it. I’m going to do something about it.”
The next day I ordered a few tons of dirt, watched a YouTube video on how to make a raised garden bed, and from that point on my wife and I started the journey we’re still on today. We turned our back yard into a thriving garden filled with fruit trees, edible plants, herbs and even a few chickens.
Soon after, the opportunity arose to farm 2 ½ acres of undeveloped land smack in middle of our city. For the last 12 years, with the help of some friends, we’ve planted over 100 trees, built about that many garden boxes, installed irrigation, delivered baby goats, raised chickens, built arbors, tables and even a small community of like-minded people.
What has unfolded over these years is a small farm known as The Simple Farm. For a short season we had a farmer’s market, but now our focus is on farm-to-table dinners and workshops that give people a taste of farm life in the middle of their city.
Through lots of hard work and some hardships I’m now enjoying this sense of connectedness, independence and inter-dependence with our much-appreciated volunteers. Because I had a late start with no experience, I hope to inspire other disconnected and over-dependent people to discover their “inner-farmer.” It’s never too late.
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