Getting My “Daniel Boone” Degree
Can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Never too late to learn. True students never graduate, they just keep learning. These are all sayings that go through my mind as I reflect on what’s been happening at the farm during the spring and summer of 2012.
I’ve been working on what I call my “Daniel Boone Degree”. Lessons I’ve learned at the farm over the past few months include: how to castrate pigs and stitch up mistakes, how to process chickens, and how challenging it can be growing produce for 50 other families and operating a CSA in a drought. Still, I haven’t killed a bear or made a coonskin cap yet, so I probably have a few more skill sets to conquer before I can claim self-reliance at the farm.
Self-reliance, not self sufficiency, is my goal. I know I can’t produce all our food on the farm or all our other basic material needs. But, I can expand and improve my production, work to preserve and store as much of it as possible, utilize waste produce through the chickens and hogs, and have our sheep and cattle graze and harvest sunshine almost every day of the year.
Sounds complicated. But, if you view it as a cycle of activities and intense management time blocks based on seasonal changes, it flows quite well. The real goal is to live as ying and yang- simplistically on the outside but richly on the inside