It's day break and the sun is coming up over the ridge, it's a clear and crisp 22 this morning. I don't think it even made it to 42 yesterday. Yesterday the whole day was cold and windy not a great day to be outside digging beds. So instead I spent the morning feeding the animals and getting ready to go to the ag show.
As I spent time meandering through the booths and visiting with the local residents who just happen to be my neighbors at the ag show, I had to stop a moment and think. It started as I attended a panel discussion on farming in the 21st century. There happened to be a young woman there who had written a book, her name is Lisa Hamilton and her book is called "Deeply Rooted", unconventional farmers in the age of agribusiness. She herself does not farm, she realized some time ago just how hard and exactly what it took to farm. So instead she writes about it and tells farmers stories.
I didn't get a chance to attend her earlier talk but showed up for the panel discussion with other farmers. As the discussion proceeded one of the older farmers, a gentleman who farms beans, stated "I come from a line of farmers, my father, my fathers father, have all worked the land." As I listened to his story and mulled over what he had to say, I couldn't help but think, I don't come from a line of farmers, and I am not a man, my father was not a farmer. When my daughter grows up, she'll say, "My Mother was a farmer" my grandchildren will say, "Nana was a farmer".
It appears I have achieved the status of the Ultimate Unconventional Farmer in the 21st Century. In 1998 a study was taken by the FDA and 9% of farms were run by women, the organic movement had a somewhat higher percentage of 21%. For a women of Hispanic descent the stats get a lot smaller and are almost non-existent. It appears women in farming and agriculture are very few and far between yet nestled here in the Four Corners area of Colorado I look around and see a few. You have Holly who runs Napier Farms, Judy and her daughter, Heidi, who have Rowher Farm, and then myself and my daughter Brianna own Dragonfly Farm. We all run our own Farm and handle most everything on it. Small operations trying to make our living and living off our land. We are all different with different ideas and farming experience but are all working towards the same goal.
It takes a lot to farm and it is not something for the weak of heart. It is never ending the things that need to be fixed or have to be built and it seems to grow by the minute. There is no time off especially when you own animals because you can't just leave them for a trip or vacation. It takes a dedication, a huge commitment to a certain lifestyle but I think it is well worth it. I have no regrets and I would not change it for anything. It's cold sometimes, hot sometimes, rainy, windy, snowing but when I go outside and look to what I have accomplished myself it is all worth it. I come from a good line of hard working women.
So as I go about my day feeding chickens, moving baby chicks to a new area, feeding and watering the milking goats, watering the greenhouse, I can stop and thank the Lord for my simple success. I am a small farmer in the 21st century who just happens to come from a line of beautifully rich, dark, women of Hispanic origins. They taught me the meaning of hard work, the meaning of family, and showed me how to think outside the box. They gave me a sense of who I am by just letting them be who they were. These are the women I come from, the women who showed me how to make tortillas, tamales, and who I share a common bond with; FAMILY .
Posted by Teresa
@ 01:21 PM MDT