Adventures as a vegetable farmer

Posted by Robin Abel on

My husband grew up with a large garden that they ate from all year round.  After moving to a rural 4 acres, it seemed logical that we should do the same.  It's sustainable, good for environment, and there are lots of resources to help us succeed.  I have books, grow lights, seeds, knee mats, a rain barrel! Of course this will be a huge success!


Not so much.  


I don't understand soil, I think our garden is in a low spot so there is too much water, my broccoli looks nothing like the ones in the store and comes with worms!  How can I be failing so badly with something that should be so easy?!!


Time and passion.  I am severely lacking in both of these.  We're in the phase of life that looks great to parents of toddlers but it really isn't because we're driving middle schoolers to soccer practice, baseball practice, community theater, and I can't even remember what else.  I call it the circle.  Everyone get in the car, I'll start dropping kids off, then will start picking them up again, driving in literal circles around town.  Can you guess how much weeding gets done on nights like this?  Ummm, none.


Last summer I stood in my garden and just cried.  It had been years of me struggling to get this garden going because I felt I had to.  We live with this much land, homegrown food is healthier, and I want to the be woman who can do it all!  But I can't.  Not even a little bit.  Standing in my garden with over grown green beans and weed destroyed melons, I thought of all the farmers we work with at Penn Panty.  They love gardening.  They do it well.  They make it a priority.  And they are gosh darn nice people.


My epiphany!  Let Yellow Creek Farms and Feel Good Farms and Clarion River Organics and whoever else we work with this year do the work.  I haven't failed, but am supporting people who do enjoy this.  And they do it well.  And some of them depend on my support for their livelihood.  


This year I am grateful for farmers who gardens better than me.  I will support them in their endeavors and enjoy amazing fresh, local produce.  Thank goodness for them!

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