This year has been like a bee sting to the eye (see left).
It’s not worth sugarcoating…it’s been a hard year of farming. I’ve slowly come to realize this year that it may not be in our best interest to continue farming commercially. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the challenges that farming presents, but it’s been driven home to me that my family and (unfortunately) paying the bills have to take precedence. I could sacrifice time with family and be a better farmer, but I just don’t want to do that. In past years, I’ve been able to take a lot of my time off from work to augment farming time, but that can’t happen to the same extent this year because of the load I’m facing at work. At the end of the day, I need to pay the bills.
You might ask why I don’t just make the jump and make my job farming…Trust me, I’ve thought about it. I see a path to making it profitable enough that we could subsist on it, but the biggest stumbling block I keep hitting would be affordable health insurance for my family. I can’t bring myself to cut the cord.
For now, I’m a bad farmer. I’m letting the weeds win this year so that I can enjoy my family like most middle class Americans do. I refuse to feel guilty about that, though it does pain me some every task I miss.
What this probably means for next year is that we will be doing far less farm wise. No Farmers Market. At most 1/2 the garlic (and only one festival). Growing for ourselves. I want to spend these years off from farming getting better at it at a smaller scale. Then, when I can come back to it, I can come back full force.