Tuesday, August 14, 2012

truth seekers, lovers and warriors

"Walk tall, kick ass, learn to speak Arabic, love music and never forget you come from a long line of truth seekers, lovers and warriors."
-Hunter S Thompson

I was so touched by the photos Jon took here yesterday morning. It was a barter for a new chicken for his farm. He took over 400 photos, a rapid fire of split seconds caught between Merlin and me. This photo of my reaching down to stroke his neck is my favorite portrait ever taken of me. I almost can't believe it is me, and I think back to that day in my corporate office last winter when I came across his ad online and posted it on my facebook page as a joke. I never thought I could actually own a Fell Pony, or any riding horse of this level because I had been trained through a culture of negativity to not believe it was possible. I was a chump that confused negativity with "realistic" a word so often used to crush people. Reality is a verb, not a precept. It's what you do.

I am reading the dreams of people below and am crying over them, because they make me so damn happy. All these folks just wanting simple things: homes, safety, the ability to love and walk and smile for one authentic moment. No one wants a million dollars or a private jet, they just want their basic needs met and some are struggling to do so.

Holly from Illinois has a great idea and I want to make it happen. We're going to figure out a way to connect local readers to other local readers, wherever you are in the country for a day of Farm Support. We'll pick a day in early September to get everyone who wants to spend a day helping another farmer out and meet new friends. If this is something you would be interested in, either hosting or helping, keep following the blog for more details. I have time to help local farms if you need me, just ask. And I will need help building Merlin's Barn. Maybe some can help with that or loan me and Brett a ladder? Anyway, stay tuned. Inspiration in action is on the way.


Blogger Elizabeth from the Berkshires said...

I'll help with the barn, for sure. I have a step ladder, around 6 feet, which is probably not big enough for what you need. Do you have a date set?

August 14, 2012 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger DarcC said...

Jenna, I'm happy to help you build Merlin's barn, and/or I can supply a 32ft extension ladder, a 12ft, 8ft, 7ft, or 6ft stepladders. Say the word.

Also, trailer is currently blocked by log piles, as soon as the logging truck comes I will get to it to photograph it and pull it out!

August 14, 2012 at 9:32 AM  
Blogger Plant City Homestead said...

That is a great photo. Put that one on those internet dating sites. I conveys your character without words.

I look forward to whatever you come up with to connect people. Wish I was closer to help you out. You have definitely helped me already with your blog and books.

August 14, 2012 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I would love to work with , help be helped...my farm is in Lyman Maine. Hooves and Hunds Farm I work 3 draft horses who are all at diferent stages. Have spent a year trying to find an intern.

August 14, 2012 at 11:06 AM  
Blogger Glyndalyn said...

I enjoyed reading yesterday's comments as well. We have been very lucky to live our way in Middle Tn on the Phony Farm.

In two weeks, I will be selling some of our "products" at the annual yard sale in our rural hamlet. A FIRST! We have always used what we produced.

I am interested in the bartering of work and will watching your site for any local opportunities. We have had great luck bartering. Pretty customary here for people to help each other.

Today: preserving green tomato hot dog relish, sour pickles brined the old fashioned way, and freezing tomatos and green peppers.

August 14, 2012 at 11:31 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

I love this photo of you and Merlin. Such a beautiful tender moment. If you are looking for volunteers to help organize days in their areas, count me in. I have time coming up after this weekend. I would love to help organize a CAF local volunteer day in my area (Lancaster/Chester County, PA). I don't have a farm, but if someone is looking for help, I could help with coordinating. It would be great to connect with other local CAF readers, learn new skills, and contribute to another farm. Anyone interested?

August 14, 2012 at 11:34 AM  
Blogger BJ Gingles said...

I'm with Holly. I live in Shreveport, LA and will travel up to 30 miles to help out. I garden, can give debt counseling, bake (teach baking), can, dehydrate and have a strong back to help out with chores. I absolutely adore harvesting fruit and vegetables (shoulda been a share-cropper) so if you need some help there I will be glad to help. You can contact me at bjgingles@gmail.com

August 14, 2012 at 11:46 AM  
Blogger Becca R said...

Jenna-- there are two great websites from VT which might lend you (or another reader some ideas on how to organize this. First is a barter-type website http://www.vtfarmandgardenexchange.com/

The other was the site that popped up after Irene when there was a HUGE need for volunteering to help your neighbor that you've never met before: http://www.vtexchange.org/

LOVE the idea.

August 14, 2012 at 11:54 AM  
Blogger wtf-ery said...

Would love to get involved; I'm in the southern Piedmont of North Carolina and can have a meetup at my farm.

Great idea; thanks for sharing!

August 14, 2012 at 12:01 PM  
Blogger wtf-ery said...

p.s. in my previous comment I should have posted that I am able and willing to help other farmers; let the conversation begin!

August 14, 2012 at 12:02 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

We're in north/central Texas (south of Fort Worth) and are always game for meeting and exchanging efforts with other local folks. We have a new baby, so I don't know how much help we'd be right now, but if anyone is near me and wants to exchange info for the future I'd be happy to!

Also, I'd propose delaying the Texas work party day until, uh, late October or so. ;-)

August 14, 2012 at 12:29 PM  
Blogger Goat Song said...

I'm in Oregon if any other fellow farmers/homesteaders/dreamers want to plan something! Goodness knows I have plenty of things that need to get done over here, and I have energy enough to help anyone who needs it!

August 14, 2012 at 1:24 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I'm in Nova Scotia, Canada, and I am searching myself to connect with others interested in homesteading. I'm very willing to spend some time helping out on someone's farm for a day just to have that experience! I want to experience chickens, bee keeping, making anything from scratch, etc.

August 14, 2012 at 3:15 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Montero said...

I'm in Dorset in the UK. There are so many seasonal farm jobs here that a volunteer can tailor their experience to fit whatever learning gaps they wish to fill. Asssuming there IS anyone near me that wants to work with sheep, horses, game birds, chickens and dogs.

I could also desperately use some marketing / IT skills to develop our blog and sales. Willing to barter.

August 14, 2012 at 5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Count me in! We're in northern VT...

August 14, 2012 at 8:49 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

Jenna, I would love to host anyone who would like to come to my farm. I am always open to visitors here. And help! So, yes, please keep me in mind. I am in Chickamauga, Ga. about 30 miles South of Chattanooga, Tn. I hope there are some wannbe farmers nearby.

August 14, 2012 at 10:15 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Farmhousewife - Where are you in NC? I'm in Southern Pines, about an hour south of Raleigh. Good to see another NC farmer here!

August 14, 2012 at 10:27 PM  
Blogger Amy McPherson Sirk said...

I'm in Swampeast Missouri. I'd love to work and be helped. Depending on the availability of help we can do anything from installing fencing to building a new goat shelter. I bring power tools and a strong back to the party.

August 14, 2012 at 10:29 PM  
Blogger pawsfurme said...

I'm in! I'm in Harford County, MD Even if just to meet others with local farms.

August 14, 2012 at 11:17 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Morning Jenna! You know you have the Hoff's available for whatever you need. We also have a ladder, a big extension or a 6 foot one. Just let us know. Reading your and Jon's blog has done so much to help me change my thinking pattern and made me realize that dreams DO come true!


August 15, 2012 at 7:05 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

I live about 25 miles southwest of Chicago, and would love to help out on a farm. Anyone in my neck of the woods? I love your blog, Jenna.

August 15, 2012 at 8:19 AM  
Blogger jenomnibus said...

I'm in Los Angeles, so I suspect that I'd have to drive pretty far to find a farm, but I'm happy to do help out if I can! Any Californians out here?

August 15, 2012 at 1:08 PM  
Blogger Tams said...

Hi jen...Im Tammy and Im in San Diego. We don't have a farm...but we have almost an acre and have several projects going on at the property. An area for experamention to help show city dwellers how much food can be grown even on a balcony. We will also be working on a rehab of an old playhouse into a chicken coop. There are also gardens...trees already in. Most of it showing how growing food can be part of a landscape...not just an official garden. We will be having "lessons" on storing food...There is a group of us working on this and will share knowledge and the bounty we create. You'd be welcomed....

August 16, 2012 at 3:10 AM  
Blogger Brandi said...

Great photo!

Count me in for the volunteering! We will be moving to Frederick County, MD at the end of September. So, I would love to find a mentor & farm to volunteer/barter with within commutable distance from there. Great idea!!!


August 16, 2012 at 6:31 AM  
Anonymous Tina said...

This is a great idea! I'm from Southern California, and live on a ranch. I raise poultry and rehab goats, sheep and alpacas. I would love to learn more from other actual farmers and would love to help other people get into the wonderful world of livestock!

August 16, 2012 at 10:59 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Another So Cal gal chimming in from Ventura County.

August 17, 2012 at 5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're in Chicago. If you are too, and you like spreading mulch to the sound of a rooster crowing and commuter trains rumbling by, send me a message. :-) We just got a couple mountains of wood chips donated at our backyard farmette and at our community garden down the block. Bring a wheelbarrow and shovels if you have 'em, or we'll find more if not. Oh, and we have apple trees to plant! Mondays, Wednesdays, and Sundays usually work...

We'd bring you a ladder Jenna, but it's far and it sounds like you've got it covered! :-) Let the crop mobs, commence!

August 17, 2012 at 7:29 PM  
Blogger wtf-ery said...


I'm in Montgomery County, just east of you! I live in a tiny community called Pekin. Good to know we're close! What do you raise/farm/grow/clean-up after? e-mail me sometime at hopefarms1890@gmail.com


August 17, 2012 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger Monique said...

I love the photo. VERY special.

August 18, 2012 at 12:27 AM  

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