I didn't grow up on a farm. Or even in farm country. I grew up in a ski town with schizophrenic feelings about its ranching roots, and I did ballet.
As I approached graduation I came to realize that my chances at becoming a professional ballerina were slim to none, especially at 5'2". I decided then to forgo a life as an anorexic waitress (a.k.a. semi-professional dancer) and pursue my other dreams - becoming a National Geographic photographer and an international development superstar. (Nothing but realistic, healthy, achievable goals for me!)
I went to college, studied International Development and moved to Nicaragua.
I met people working against this tide though, and learned that it is the communities who look within themselves for answers and support who best survive the impacts of fickle outside forces. Communities who are clear about their values and about the importance of preserving local resiliency. People who aren't afraid of hard work but are afraid of losing their identities. It was at this point that I became most interested in the role that vibrant local food systems can play in preserving community health and identities.
We didn't buy our own sailboat though and eventually returned to the US, broke and homeless in the middle of 'The Great Recession'. We had loved sailing and traveling but we came back to land because we longed for a home and community again. The long process of community and job hunting led us, completely unexpectedly, to Quincy and we both instantly knew that we had found home.
Not finding much work in international development or sailing in the rural Sierra Nevada mountains, I started building another career. It was at this point that I happened to meet Elizabeth and my wild dreams of farming began to take root.
I now find myself pouring over chicken catalogs, geeking out on soil microbes, and coveting tractors. I know that I'm not going to save the world or become and international super star, but I feel lucky that I get to spend my days digging in the dirt and growing healthy food for my community.