I was so excited to be asked to participate in a series of podcasts about raising heritage sheep. I've never done an interview for a podcast before. It was actually a lot of fun. I didn't realize how excited and energetic I get when talking about sustainable farming, sheep, and our plans for the future. If you are interested in learning a lot more about me and the farm - my interview is here https://anchor.fm/deerlywoven. I listened to the other five episodes before I did the interview. I was struck by how many of the stories were so similar to ours. All of the other shepherds sounded like people I could totally be friends with. I needed that. I had a really negative experience recently with someone I hardly know. It was a 'virtual' discussion and she said a lot of really unkind and completely untrue things about me. It shook my confidence and made me doubt myself. So this blog is about kindness.
As farmers, we are all on a journey. It's a journey of lessons learned, heart break, joy, top of the world to the depths of despair. We fight with the weather, invasive plants, drought, predators.....the last thing we need to do is fight with each other. Nearly every farmer I have had the pleasure to meet and interact with has been open, kind, willing to share information and most of all - nonjudging. Except this one. And I get that it is her stuff and not mine, believe me I have moved on. It's just important to recognize and feel gratitude to all those others who have supported me and lifted me up. To embark on a farming lifestyle is to embrace a difficult and challenging way of life. We are all in this together.
One of the things I have enjoyed the most about our move to North Idaho is the community of farmers and homesteaders we have become a part of. Everyone is doing it at their own scale and pace - some have just a container garden and a dream of more. Others are all-in with a full time homestead supporting their family. Many are in-between, like we are. But the community supports each other. We buy products from each other, give advice, lend tools, temporarily house animals, share the sadness of a loss. THIS. This is what is essential to the core of a small farm community.
The world would be a better place if everyone was a farmer. I truly believe this. Farming teaches compassion, perserverance, tolerance, patience, humility. I am proud to be a farmer. I am proud of my farm. I am proud to be a part of this greater community of humans who believe there is more to life than a device, concrete walls, the almighty dollar. So here's to all the farmers out there - those who are actually doing it and those who only dream. Thank you for everything you do and thank you for being my tribe.