“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.” - Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture
There is something so romantic about farm life. Growing your own vegetables, milking cows, and gathering eggs can sound so appealing as I sit in my suburban apartment staring into the windows of the neighbors within 20 feet of me. I’ve always been drawn to farms. Maybe it’s because my grandparents were farmers and it’s in my blood or maybe it’s just as simple as I have never lived anywhere but the city, so it just sounds appealing to me. I’m sure, however, that with all of my daydreaming, reality is nothing like what I imagine in my head. Getting up at the crack of dawn to do chores, worrying about the weather, disease, or insects, and never, ever getting a day off, may not be the paradise I think it would be. We got the chance the other day to visit Amy’s Farm in Ontario, a local place that does educational tours, has a farm stand, and a CSA that anyone is welcome to join. It had been several years since my last visit (I used to go quite a bit when my kids were young), but not much had changed. There is a huge garden, where, at the moment, they are growing carrots, tomatoes, all kinds of lettuce, beets, chard, cucumbers, cabbage, kale, etc. Their herb garden is full of all kinds of wonderful things making me want to spend time in the kitchen experimenting, just for the smells alone. I think our favorite part, however, was seeing all of the animals – horses, cows, chickens, sheep, goats, pigs, and the cutest, tiniest bunny I have ever seen. If you are in the area, it is worth a visit. Who knows… you may want to start a garden of your own.