Sunday, December 12, 2010

January 28, 2010 - Heartbreak

January 28th, 2010 - Heartbreak
I am not in the same mood as last year’s January. Just now, I feel my heart sunk by the difficulties of living off a farm. My first heartbreak came with the “profit” given by fresh corn harvest. My second disappointment mixed with relief, I confess, came with the bank denying to finance my milk cows. I got relieved because my father didn’t feel excited about waking up early everyday, rain or shine, to milk the cows in muddy, not to say, dunggy soil. If at least the prices were good, it would pay for the rotten days. I was worried about having to milk all the cows in the dark before driving my daughter to school at 7:00 o’clock. The other feeling of relief has to do with not having to take risks. No money, no work, no risk, no money (again). I start to understand small farmer’s lack of enthusiasm for new projects. In old days, they blamed the germs in their intestines, which made them sluggish and lazy.
John Seymour (The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It) talks about supporting oneself. He recommends to forget about living off a small farm. One needs to have an income coming from the city. For me, it is not even likely to get a job. The town is too small for my “big” age and lack of experience in anything that would be interesting such as management, sales, accounting skills. I didn’t even get a job as an English instructor. No opennings, they said. And the pay, may not even cover the fuel.
As the situation worsen at home, I convinced my father to sell most of the farm, specially the productive section: coffee and chicken batteries. This was actually my brothers’ suggestion to the financial crises my father is going through.
By hearing about the sale, my daughter protested. She said “I have plans for the farm!” My father would be proud of her. But she is too young to be able to do anything to save our land. I told her that we would keep the house, the orchard, and some land, maybe for the cows.
Not to say that everything is bad, I have projects for this year. The Organic Horticulture program is coming to my farm this year. This means that we are going to have a professional vegetable garden, besides the greenhouse. The loofah I sowed are yielding many huge sponges. I may start playing with paper making. I can continue with my soap experiments. With beef cattle or not, I may get some goats. Ah! My old dream of owning these animals. Above all, I will continue to record my adventures in the country.

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