The thought came to me while I was watching youtube videos today on how permaculture is a brilliant answer to many of the worlds problems. Problems such as drought, famine, hunger and poverty. Once rich and fertile lands have been robbed of their nutrients resulting in dried and desert plains. Erosion has left areas stripped of topsoil which leads to flooding and dust bowls. People are being forced to leave native lands seeking government assistance and new generations are being raised with this dependent mind set. Here’s one of the videos that I found particularly thought provoking.
My heart swelled with joy as I watched. People returning to their paradise of native plants and flowing streams. Kids going to school because they aren’t spending their days begging for food or shepherding goats across a barren landscape in search of a small patch of greenery. I left my computer and stared at my backyard. In my minds eye I pictured ponds and trees and berms and hugelkultur beds teaming with food. Sigh. If only it were my land to do as I pleased. I can still do alot here, but not that much. And to invest so much into this little plot of earth only to leave it behind when we move again. It is so hard to know how far down to put my roots!
I’ve begun the process of looking around the area for homes in our price range. Which puts us in the category of ‘fixer-upper’. A few days ago I came across 2 acres with a once lovely farm home on it well within the price range we had envisioned. Yesterday I stole away for an hour to go check out the land. Right on a main road, it was within 1/2 mile of Seth’s work. He could ride a bike there. The land was set between acres of farm land, once I’m sure it was the only home for miles. The poor house had been abused, holes punched into walls, a makeshift porch rotting off the back. Trash had been littered everywhere. Several outbuildings hung their roof in shame, filled to the brim with garbage, ruined furniture and the remnants of a thriving farm. A 30×30 square that was once a garden was overgrown and contained broken glass and old tarps.
My heart sunk. I wanted to take this land and resuscitate it. I wanted to pick each and every piece of garbage up and wash the walls and repair the buildings. I wanted to put in a pond and berms and hugelkultur beds and pastures and grow food. I want to open a little self service farmstand along the main road with orange yolked eggs and shining heirloom tomatoes. I envisioned the house getting a fresh coat of antique teal paint with weathered cedar trim. The fence would be reclaimed barn wood and I would fill the front yard with lupine and butterfly bushes, nasturtium, calendula and lavender. My boys would grow to be young men learning how to swing an axe, hang a tree swing and raise their own pigs on this land. I would host the weary and down trodden, offering them nourishing staples and a place to put up their feet and rest. I stood there for a good long while, dried leaves and crumbled papers and plastic bags swirling around me in the wind. The land was begging me like an old dog at the pound. Please care for me. Give me another chance to thrive.
I allowed the dream to fly out the window as I drove away. We are sooo far from having enough money for a down payment. With Seth just having graduated and started his position at the tech company, we are just beginning to pay off school debt. We are years away from realizing this dream. As I stomached the reality, a deep and discouraged sigh left my lips. Sometimes you feel like throwing in the towel before the race has even begin.
After returning home from my farm ‘window shopping’ trip, I sat in contemplation while I knit a sweater for a friend. In fact it is for the friend with whom I plan to join forces with at the farmers market this summer (refer to the last post for more on that matter). I begin to think of how many sweaters I would need to knit. How many jars of face cream and homemade lotion I would have to peddle in order to put away the amount I would need for the down payment. My shoulders grew stiff and tired just thinking of the hours I would need to put in. But then I had a new idea. A Wild, Hair-brained idea.
And this is the part that I need your help with. I’m shivering a bit as I type as I consider that this *could* work. It could. Would you. The vast internet community. Would you….. help me? Would you consider sponsoring this crazy dream of mine?
Here’s how it would work. I would set up a ‘Crowdtilt’ account. Your donation wouldn’t go through until the goal amount has been reached. In return you get to be PART of this! I cross my fingers and hope to faint, that I will blog the whole journey. Who knows. Maybe I’ll even write a book about it. About how a community of people came together virtually to accomplish a noble and humble dream. Will we fail? Depends on what you describe as failure. If we end up not raising enough by the end of the campaign, then your money never leaves your pocket (read more about how crowdtilt works here). But we can try. Why not? WHY NOT?! Why couldn’t this work? I don’t want donations out of guilt. I don’t want you to feel weird pressure and never return to this site because you didn’t want to participate in this. If this isn’t your thing, you don’t want to donate, then lets leave it at that, no hard feelings. Perhaps you’d like to donate, but you, like us are saving every penny you can for a dream. Then by all means. Keep your pennies! Far be it from me to ask you to sacrifice your ‘farm’ for mine. If nothing else, perhaps you can just pass on the link. You never know who will feel like participating.
The husband and I are going to meet with a loan officer in the coming weeks to find out just how much this ominous amount will need to be. We promise we’re not shooting for extravagance. A dilapidated farm house and a few humble acres will suit us just fine. Perhaps even this sad abused property that I stood on just yesterday. We’ll put in the elbow grease and make you proud. I can promise you that. With Seth’s carpentry skill and my animal/garden know-how, we’ll get the job done well. So before we get this party started, we’ll get the details squared away and then I’ll announce the beginning of our campaign.
Would you mind so much leaving a comment to let me know if you think this Wild Haired idea is just too wild or just wild enough? I’d sure appreciate it…. thanks friends.