Monday, June 8, 2009

Pastoral Here and Gone

Husband thoughtfully left an article on my desk for me to read -- a short story in the NY Times Magazine about a professional couple in suburban Georgia who cashed out and bought a 76-acre farm, Nature's Harmony, on which they now raise pesticide- and medicine-free, grass-fed chickens, turkeys, pigs, cows, and sheep. He knew I'd seize that concept and start planning our own farm. In my head.

"We need to get rid of these computers. They're ruining our lives. We need a farm."

He looked at me -- like he often does -- with a "Yeah, right" kind of look. "Computers are not ruining our lives. They're paying the bills. Did you notice that the people in the article weren't making much money?"

But they're growing grapes for wine and enjoying their meals like I may never.

Says farm father, Tim Young: "There's this whole way to make money in the world but not really do anything to contribute. I feel like what we do is important. But it's not financially rewarding. Who cares? As long as you can make it on your own. Let me tell you something, we're going to eat well."

If only I had the nerve to break free too. But there's this thing called College x3 that dominates my future planning and sends me back to my daily responsibilities at my laptop...


So I read this article, then go to the laundry room for some housekeeping. I had a load of wet clothes to dry, and I considered hanging everything on the clothesline outside. Drying clothes on the line is one of my favorite pastimes. I get calm with the notion that Mother Nature and I can work together so harmoniously. I give her something to do, and she responds with some warm sunshine and a breeze that dries my clothes. No fossil fuels consumed, and my clothes, sheets, and towel smell really fresh. (Putting this on my list of favorite things to do is a little dorky, I know. But it really does give me peace.)

It's damp outside today from yesterday's rain. So I go outside to check the temps and air to see if the clothes will really dry today. And the air smells like shit. Shit being spread on the dairy farm fields right behind us. It's gross. It's strong. I scowl, and my dreams of being a farmer disappear like an organic, free-range chicken in the jaws of a fox.

And I dried my clothes in the dryer today.
(422 words)


  1. Boy you brought back memories.Especially the spreading of manure. Had a uncle that like to do that every Sun. when us kids would all go home to our parents and thought we would eat outside. It would be right across the road from my parents house. You will not get rich being a farmer.

  2. You don't need 75 whole acres to eat well. . . a small garden can provide all kinds of fresh veggies and fruit. And you could even have chickens like Petros.