Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Sustainable Dream

A post by The Park Wife

I am all for immediate gratification, that is why I have Dr. Pepper in my fridge. But, I married a planner. When Big Buckaroo and I got married, he talked about having a sustainable farm one day. I had a 3 year plan, he had a 40 year plan. My downtown Memphis living self just rolled with it, it was the Wranglers and boots, I could not help myself. But, then reality set in. He actually meant that I would need to learn to farm.

Pastured poultry, not so bad raising, the slaughter, another thing entirely. Then, there were the pigs. Thankfully they went to the butcher and I did not have to witness Wilbur's death. I must say, the bacon, YUMMY. We have laying hens that provide the extra yumminess needed for an outstanding omelet. And, now my black thumb is getting a little green while my feet are turning a nice brown color, not from the sun but from the dirt in my garden. Then, last year, a few friends and I started a farmers' market in our town and KAPOW! the Southern Belle Farm Chic was born.

We are acquiring the necessary skills to be able to be full time farmers. Big Buckaroo will always be the Big Buckaroo Park Ranger guy until he retires in oh, 20 or so years, but I have two little farm hands to assist in our venture until his retirement. Yes, child labor my friends. Now, don't go calling the authorities, these boys are working hard, playing hard and learning hands on. The little buckaroo's have a great life.

I have, or maybe let's say HAD, the romanticized notion in the beginning when it comes to a family farm. It conjured up all sorts of Norman Rockwell images of a simple life where man and woman come together pitch fork in hand, building a life on a picturesque rural plot of America. Nostalgic images like those in Country Living (I love that magazine, surprise, surprise) of old barns and farmhouses with picket fences. Lush kitchen gardens and cute little boys in overalls collecting eggs from the chicken coop.

And, it is some of that, however, I don't have someone that stages my house and garden for beautiful photo layouts. Nor do I have someone that washes the dirty little boy clothes that they wore while burying themselves in the newly tilled garden, nor someone to wash the arugula for the third time, nor someone to clean and package the newly slaughtered chicken before putting it in the deep freeze.... we don't even have a great farm dog (our Boxer is no Lassie).

But, I do have a plot of land I have worked for almost 5 years now, amending the soil to make it rich and wonderful for growing vegetables that I will feed my family and other families that buy at our market. I have acquired a tremendous amount of knowledge in gardening, farmers' market start up and promotion, and how to keep our family the center of our family farm.

I am passionate about growing and promoting high quality, locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables. I want people to meet their farmer and know where their food came from. And, I want the cute farmhouse with the picket fence. And, the old barn where I can hold Harvest Dinners. Yes, I want and am striving for that picturesque life at a place we call Rockwell Farm.

Eat local, Eat Fresh,
The Park Wife,
aka The Southern Belle Farm Chic of Rockwell Farm

*all photos are from this morning. I will keep you updated with pictures so you can see how my garden grows.

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