My winter planning is continuing, although it is now becoming spring planning. I’ve had some feedback that my “thoughts on sustainable agriculture” post was depressing. I didn’t mean it to be sad, just realistic.
However, I feel I need to follow-up on that post. At the time of its writing, I had been planning on leaving the vegetables to concentrate more on honey. Vegetables are a lot of work and worry for very little profit, if any. But as the weather has been warming up I’ve realized I love growing vegetables. This will only be my fourth year but already I don’t know what to do with my spring if I’m not planning for my vegetable fields. Maybe I’m spring-crazed or maybe it’s because the hours at my other job are reduced for April and I suddenly have more time, but I don’t care anymore what my returns are for vegetable production. It’s just so wonderful to be growing veggies for people, spending time in the dirt, with only the birds calling in the trees and my dog lying on the compost pile watching everything I do.
So I will be growing all sorts of vegetables again this year. I even have a market stall at a market in Edmonton, which means you’ll be able to easily access my farm’s products! I won’t tell you where yet because it’s not 100% confirmed.
On a slightly different train of thought, I went to a market gardening workshop in September on Salt Spring Island. One sentence really stuck with me- “nobody should be growing vegetables for other people. Everyone should be growing their own vegetables. Farmers should be growing meat, eggs, honey and other livestock products that urban people do not have the space nor permission to produce.” Not all urban folks can grow their own vegetables either, but this is a sentiment I agree with. Everyone who has the interest, space and capability should have their own garden. I will try to integrate this idea into my farm however I can. I’m still thinking on ways I can do so.
(And about not being allowed to keep chickens or honey bees in the city- just do it anyway! Bylaws shouldn’t be allowed to dictate our ability to be food secure.) But I didn’t say that. Nor do I keep chickens in town…
I think less and less about the law. I probably break laws left-and-right, because there are so many little asinine ones that are unenforceable, outdated, not applicable everywhere, etc.
And regarding “depressing” blog posts, a lot of people need to come to grips with chaotic, inevitable change and the realities of natural limits which have been ignored for too long. Few who venture into that territory get by without the initial downer feelings. Same goes for truly understanding how this country was settled through a cultural genocide that continues today. Avoiding unpleasant feelings is a good way to make oneself progressively ignorant, incapable and unprepared. Feeling them, instead, is a way to move deeply into a new understanding.