I Hate Seasons: My farming journey has, by and large, come to an end.

My farming journey has, by and large, come to an end.

I hate seasons.

Not the kind that bring winter, fall, spring, summer (though I'd not mind if winter found somewhere else to go), but the kind that re-route the direction of your life.

I hate surprises.

Not the things that mean presents and friends, but the kind that you failed to see coming, either because you could or would not see it.

I hate letting go.

I've never been good at releasing a grip on anything at all, even when I know I should. I am even worse at letting go when I am not certain it is for the best.

Change is hard, perhaps because I have never sought it out, or perhaps because when it has come to me, it has always been brutal in what it revolutionized and how it left things behind.

I wrote a blog some years ago that reached millions of readers. I am sure many of you remember it, and in hindsight, I am glad not because of how it impacted others, but because of how much more relevant it is to me now.
“If I Never Farm Another Day: What 'Sometimes'
Farming has Given Me. . .”










I did not think, ten years ago when this adventure started, the time would be so long and short to get here. . . to the end of it, but isn’t that life summarized in every single portion?

I imagined I would be older, more ready, better prepared if that time came, but we never know, do we?

I looked through my own words from that ever popular nearly 4 year old writing of mine, and I find so much truth in what was typed. I find I can copy and paste them here now, and they still ring true - truer than I ever knew they would:

"In a world where so little is real, where almost no work is required and the spirit is left void and wanting. . . even producing or nurturing one thing that, in turn, feeds you or otherwise nourishes you is of more value than I ever expected years ago when I began a 'Sometimes' farm that required work all of the time.

The idea of walking away leaves me feeling blank and desolate, even though there isn't a lot of tangible reason as to why.

But one day, if I find myself without cows, chickens and goats in my yard, the lessons I've learned, the values and skills my children will have, will always make every single moment worth it. I've finally become very sure."

When you begin a journey, you cannot know what life has ahead, so you may intend to stay a course that is actually entirely impossible.  And though I hate to say it, that can mean letting go.

For me, a life of farmstead dairy, helping new farmers find good livestock, raising the best animals I possibly could with some amount of preservation in mind, being part of this family's food system and growing something real was of great value, but life and mission took me into a nonprofit world to help horses, and while the truth has always been that I enjoyed goats and hillside farming more, where I was needed was somewhere else.

Today, it is easy to look around and see continuing to hold onto a dream everyone else let go of a long time ago here, does not make sense. And, though I’ve been known to dress up as Wonder Woman now and again, I am not her, so trying to change the face of horse welfare across Appalachia while desperately dragged a whole farm behind is impossible, though it seemed like I could pull it off for a long, long time. I cannot do it.

Time. I don't have enough of it. Farming doesn't wait for unexpected horse rescue trips, and I've tried to make it. It will not. Farming also doesn't wait when the others farming with you jump off the ship, sadly.

The silence here for months, the lack of photos and stories told the story to you long before I did, I am sure.

Let go, but only when you have to. Hold on, but only when you should. It is a fine line, and it is one I do not have figured out.

 The hillside and my stories aren’t going anywhere, though, folks, and on it and in them will remain my favorite now “pet” goats, two horses, speckles of Wyandotte chickens, a barren-old cow and Clemmie (where I still hope to find a few months a year to milk share with her calf, so we can remember butter and real milk). It won’t really be a farm, but it will still be, for now, mine.