Slowdown Farmstead
Slowdown Farmstead
finding our farm - part two
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finding our farm - part two

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Life on our first farm with my favourite Highland and her little lamb-like calf.

Everyone has their own motivation for trying to detangle from our systems. For many, the last few years have been eye-openers. What they thought was turned out not to be. Securities felt a little more shaky. Truth, no longer felt all that true. Rugs were pulled out and curtains drawn back. The great illusion dissipated into the air like morning fog.

For us, it was different. Our illusions were long gone. We were conspiracy theorists long before anyone used the word. We were anti-vaxxers long before they came up with that moniker too (and nobody cared back then). There was a reason we wanted to own land twenty years ago. And those reasons were known by many of the old-timers in our circle who also owned land and remained as self-sufficient as possible knowing the basics of “never trust the government”. It’s more than the government that’s the problem, of course, but the sentiment of independence from systems is sound.

In our part of the world, Covid side effects included a rush on rural properties and exploding housing costs. I hear it was like that in most places. Despite the mainstream narrative, it seems that many people realized how costly the return on their dependance. Where once dollars poured into trips and shopping, there was suddenly a run on vegetable seeds, backyard chicken supplies, land, and certain herbal medicines. That’s great. That’s fine. But that’s not the time to be doing those things.

Queen Zaide teaching this little Guernsey calf the art of grazing. We started our dairy herd with the heritage breed of dairy cows known as “Canadienne”.

When we first started looking for our first farm, it was with an eye to continue to build the skills and life necessary to feed and shelter ourselves. In part one of this essay, I explain how that started happening well before we found our farm. Through wonderful teachers, mentors, and guides in our lives, we came to understand the lies of our system. We raised our children without medical doctors and vaccines. We learned about our bodies and health in robust ways and implemented that knowledge in how we ate, moved, and lived. We never did get wifi and still don’t have it. We never did get sucked into the norms or practices of our culture. We just did our own thing. Sometimes that was lonely. Sometimes it felt isolating. But a used muscle gets stronger and as I stood in my decisions, my confidence grew. People thought we were weirdos for wanting to find land and farm, but I was used to being the weirdo by then.

I wanted to provide a bit of this background to demonstrate that while the lockdowns and mandates, the vitriol and segregation, of the Covid years woke a lot of people up to the direction the sociopaths are steering this ship, it was not a surprise to many. Nothing new is happening here, we’re just marching along with new scenery. We’re closer to the end than the beginning. Just because we can go into a store without a mask on doesn’t mean it’s all gone away. In fact, things are progressing faster than ever. I don’t say this to scare anyone. I don’t think fear is the right emotion here, but if you do feel fear, I would direct you to focusing on your spirit over a vegetable plot. If you’re lucky, you can do both.

It was with our understanding of the need to take responsibility for our food, our health, and our children’s education that we understood the need in our lives for a farm. When we finally found that farm, we had the land but no tools. We needed animals and machinery. We had just purchased our farm, but we then needed to purchase everything to make a farm work. We had very limited funds. All three of our children needed our time, guidance, love, and, yes, money. In those first few years on our farm, we were constantly weighing the costs of something against what it would bring us.

Our farm needed to make money in order to pay for the things we needed to save money. An example of this is haying equipment. We didn’t have any. In order to save money, we needed to cut our own hay to feed our animals instead of buying it. In order to cut our own hay, we needed equipment. In order to pull that equipment we needed a tractor. It’s a great tsunami of costs if you let it be. One thing begets another. In order to have beef for us, we needed to raise enough beef cattle to sell them. In order to sell enough beef, we needed to have that haying equipment for winter feeding and we needed to buy thousands of dollars worth of electric fencing reels and energizers and posts just to move them around. The reality is that these start up costs are significant if you’re working within a tight budget. Things have to be continuously

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Slowdown Farmstead
Slowdown Farmstead
Cultivating authenticity in a synthetic world. Ruminations on ancestral food, healthy living, family, connection to the natural world, life, death and this radical little thing called "sovereignty".
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