We're living in Brooklyn and working in our "dream" occupations in Manhattan, where's the pot of gold?
We came to New York City to fulfill childhood goals that were based on high-paying jobs and glamorous lifestyles. The keys to a happy life were well determined and we could achieve them if we tried. Well, here we are - goal achieved! Or not. Luckily we've got the love part down, but the rest of it, not so much.
Something happens when you meet the person you're meant to spend the rest of your life with, or at least it did with us. We realized that our jobs in fashion and finance just weren't doing it for us. We needed to find a purpose, a new goal - one we could believe in and achieve together.
So, we began our search to find a mutual passion that would allow us to share our days together, hopefully achieving something great and inspiring others along the way. We sought out professions where we saw other couples working side by side and then we researched whether that would work for us. We tried to picture ourselves 25 years, 50 years and even farther down the road. We envisioned our kids and their happiness. Would they want to stay around? Would they want to be our successors? Time and again we stumbled across major road-blocks and after months of searching there wasn’t an obvious choice for our future.
During our search we happened to read Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan. As with many of his readers, we were inspired to change our lifestyle and actually pay attention to where our food came from. For a few years we had been eating organic produce when convenient, but it wasn't a top priority and we certainly paid no attention to where our meat, cheese and eggs came from.
As we’ve learned more about eating natural, organic, and local foods it seems as if we’ve been doing it our whole lives. Previously, the realities of the food industry were out of sight, out of mind. We liked our burgers cheap and price was the primary consideration in nearly every food choice at the store. There was always a sense that wherever food came from it wasn’t a place we'd like to visit, but we never took it another step. We never asked, “Why shouldn't I know where my food comes from?”, “Why shouldn’t I demand that it be raised naturally?”, and “Why shouldn’t I know who raised the animal and whether they raised the animal humanely?.”
As we fell further down the food rabbit hole we read some of Joel Salatin's books. He seemed to be making the small family farm gig work ok and he was farming in a way consistent with our morals, so maybe it could work for us...? At first we were highly skeptical. Farming is a highly commoditized, low-margin, low barrier to entry business that is perpetually being consolidated and crushing small, hopeful young farmers and we couldn’t imagine being among them. However, stubborn as we are, we kept learning more about the small farm model and thinking of ways to make it work. We moved on from Joel to more technical farming books by Andre Voisin and Allan Savory. We were hooked! We knew we wouldn't get rich farming, but being rich wasn't the point, being happy and in love was. Our childhood dreams of big money were misplaced. We wanted something different. We didn't want to live to accumulate paper wealth, we wanted something tangible and rewarding, something we could touch and feel, and that something was to farm.
So here we are, probably a good year or two from trading in our city lives and moving to a farm of our own, but we've learned and seen a lot along the way and we want to share it. We want to inspire others to pursue their dreams and we want to be a conduit for our knowledge. The requirements to feed this nation healthy and sustainable foods are enormous and we will need legions of new farmers. Many have already appeared and we look forward to joining them. We welcome you along in our journey.