I’ve had many amazing identities in my professional career. Photojournalist. TV Producer (brief and painful as it was). Documentary Photographer. CMO. Blah, blah, blah. But I never thought I’d pursue the identity of “farmer” and embrace it so excitedly.
But here we are– 2020 is bitch slapping us on the daily and I’m finally stepping into my next chapter in life. A medicinal plant tiny farmer. I’m turning my brown thumb into a green one and learning all about how to use the plant world to heal our bodies, minds and our planet.
My previous career was mostly dedicated to telling stories with images and code. I loved it, still do. It’s just not how I want to spend my days. Nor is it how I want to stand up for the injustices in the world. Yes, I still bear witness to injustice. Yes, I’ll still grab my camera and document dissent and civil disobedience as often as I can. I will always bear witness. Always.
Those of you who know me understand that I’m wired to function outside of the social structures that lead most down the path of the white picket fence, 2 car garage and 2.5 kiddos. No judgment, kids and homes are fabulous, just not my path. I’ve spent decades functioning outside of this system. But I’ve never totally detached my consumption from the big box, big ag corporate infrastructure that is late stage capitalism.
I try hard to not spend my money with such entities that prey off the everyday person and promote the economy over human life and well being. I don’t shop at Amazon, Walmart or Home Depot. I don’t support companies that treat human life as expendable. I don’t support companies that prop up racist politicians or the systems that keep them in office.
But my food supply chain is dependent upon the big box grocery chains and the intricate web of capitalism that puts spinach in my fridge. I’m riding out the pandemic in a location without a strong local food production system and in a community not adhering to social distancing or mask wearing, so growing my own food is now paramount.
What was once just a lovely dream for my quieter years, living in a small dwelling, off the grid, with a hot Bradley Cooper clone and totally self-sufficient, is now a means of survival. I must figure out how to grow my own food in the limited space I have and be able to run my garden wherever I find myself. During this new pandemic age and beyond, I’ll be mobile. I can’t imagine settling into an area right now without knowing what the post-pandemic economy will look like.
So NOW is it. I begin my journey to tiny farming now. Today.
My Tiny Farm is thriving in the backyard, 3 weeks into it’s creation on a small corner of the back porch. Full disclosure, I’m a rep for the company that makes these towers and I fell in love with them at our national convention a few years back. I sat in a hotel ballroom in Indianapolis surrounded by Towers and was enthralled. The sounds of the water trickling through them and the scents of all those plants struck a chord. I had no idea what or how I could connect with this type of farming, but I knew it spoke to me. As a nomad, it’s sometimes hard to imagine how to implement certain things that speak to your core, yet require a little stability, but I knew the Tower Garden had a place in my life one day soon.
Fast forward to now. The world is in chaos, food supply chains are tenuously functioning at best and the stress of not knowing how to get healthy, nutrient dense fresh food was simply one stress too many. I know a solution exists for this problem. And it’s a Tiny Farm built with a Tower Garden.
So, my journey as a tiny farmer begins. And I may even become a mobile farmer, setting up my garden everywhere I boondock for a growing cycle (3-4 weeks) putting my garden in the rig and moseying on down the road to the next destination. ;)
Regardless, my brown thumb will become a green one. I’m also beginning my journey into learning medicinal plants through an herbalist program this fall and once I do find the place to set some roots, my farm will be filled with medicinal plant towers.
I will be one with the plants. Something I never thought I’d say, really. Artist, Nomad & Tiny Farmer. I can dig it— HA!