From Teacher to Farmer

img_2479-1My best days are spent in the dirt- how about you?

I am a micro-farmer living in Eastern Massachusetts with my 2 girls, 5 chickens, husband and one acre of land. I own and manage the very new Daisy Hill Farm, where I grow vegetables, fruit and flowers using intensive organic methods.

Because it is so new, I am making a few, umm, lets call them mistakes.  Mistakes are how we learn!  That is what I keep telling myself anyway.  Being a former teacher, I am a little obsessed with learning, so I thought YOU might want to LEARN from my mistakes (lets call the misadventures, that sounds way more fun!) too!  I am also hoping that you, Reader,  will teach me so so so many things, because I have so much to learn!

Like I said, this is a  fairly new full-time venture for me, I left my job as a high school biology teacher (after 15 years!) last June to grow food. For years when people asked what I did, I told them “I am a teacher, but I want to be a farmer”.  While it was incredibly hard to say goodbye to my students and a career that I had invested so much in; it was so the right decision because even though I really did love many parts of teaching, I love farming more.

 

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I have been growing my own food now for 16 years, and it has been so fun to scale it up. Last year, I grew enough produce to feed my family of 4 for almost 6 months.  We eat more vegetables in our meals than most people, so I know it is a bit of navel-gazing here, but I really am proud of that.   And that was in a brand new garden, started months behind schedule during a drought.  My goal is to grow 80% of our produce for the year, and I think it can be done with year-round farming.

It is beautiful outside.  I love it there.  I love watching the cycles of seasons, to enjoy the littlest things each one has to offer.  The first leaves of a purple crocus in February, the sound the ice makes when it is melting off the roof in March.  The hot July day when everything is in bloom and you pick your first red cherry tomato off the vine and eat it, warmed by the sun.  I love the fall, when the pumpkin vines die and leave behind their orange orbs.  The smell of orange pine needles under your feet in the woods. And I love the first snow.  Still feels magical.   It makes me feel connected to something so much bigger than me.

I read a lot. I am a researcher and am fairly skeptical, so I usually do due diligence before trying stuff out.  BUT sometimes I don’t- which is usually way more fun. So, with determination that some might call stubbornness, I keep planting and building and sharing, planting and building and sharing and invite you along for the ride.

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