Thoughts on Being a Commuter Farmer
There are weeks where it feels like I’m torn into two. I have a million ideas and projects I want to be helping out with on the farm: barns to be cleaned and painted, new ideas on how to streamline the seed sorting process, work to be done cleaning up the forest and fence lines, marketing strategies for social media outlets, getting equipment cleaned and ready for storage till Spring, and so much more! All of these things inspire me and make me want to spend as much time on the farm as possible.
Then I take a good look at my checking account and the school loan bills and get a wake-up call. I have no choice but to come into the city and work a 8-5 job with health care benefits. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have a pretty awesome “desk” job that I am VERY grateful to have in this economy. But I know that it’s not pushing me hard enough. I know that I’m not inspired to do this work. I will always want to do my very best at this job because that’s who I am as a person. I’ll just be spending every lunch hour dreaming of all the things I could get done on the farm.
My solution to this problem is live in the city M-F and work my “desk” job. On the weekends I trek out to the farm and put in as many hours as I can. I might get to spend as much time “enjoying” the farm as I’d like, but my parents are good sports about letting me figure out that balance for myself. I’m diligently paying my bills and loans off. They will be gone in 10-15 years if I’m very, very good. I save money where I can by not owning a car (I live only a few blocks from work and get a ride to and from the farm by my parents when they make deliveries or run errands). I don’t feel that either place really gets the best of me, but someday I might make the transition to the farm full-time. When that day comes I will be so excited and relieved.
In 2015, I hope to find a better system for getting to and from the farm. I’d like to be there more often. I also have a long list of projects I’d like to get done. Let’s hope it goes as well, if not better, than 2014!