Sunday, October 24, 2010

Complex Simplicity

While Julie is taking a break because she says she has nothing to write about, I've decided to pick up the slack.  Although the changes we've gone through in the last few months have diminished our farm holdings to a stock trailer, a handful of equipment, and a large dog (I think you're all familiar with her), our farm is still very much real.  Plans are in the works, and hopefully by this time next year there will be more than enough rural life antics for Julie to write about.  But, it seems for now, you're stuck with me.

With the new home and property, we've certainly been spending a lot of time discussing what can be done with the land, animals we would like to have, fruit trees, landscaping, etc., etc., etc.  Our new farm has great potential and is an opportunity for a do-over on some of the things we messed up with our old farm.  But amid all the discussion and new ideas, I've spent a great deal of time in reflection on our original plans when we first moved to Tennessee.

After having spent many years in the military, moving from state to state and really not being able to enjoy country life, we were ecstatic when we realized we were actually going to be moving to Tennessee 10 years ago.  The final few months prior to moving were consumed with planning for a farm, and a simpler lifestyle.  I was making plans to continue working in a off farm job for enough years to obtain land, equipment, and animals, then transition to full time farming and self sufficiency.  We were so excited and happy with those grand plans.  We read everything we could on the Internet, in magazines, articles, etc. that pertained to self sufficiency, small farming, direct marketing; you get the idea.  Upon arrival in TN, we immediately began to take action on those ideas and a great deal of our adventure has been chronicled here on this blog.

Needless to say, we've obtained a plethora of experience in the last 10 years.  While some of that experience was practical (how to administer animal meds, planting techniques, soil preparation), much of it has been learning about the realities that come with this lifestyle.  These realities have not always been encouraging and have caused us to evaluate our priorities as we move forward into this new season.  The single biggest lesson we've learned is how complex transitioning to a "simpler" life can be.  Over the next few weeks, I will share our thoughts about what we've learned; the good and bad, how our priorities have shaped; and are shaping our farm life, and maybe vent some of the frustrations we've experienced.  Who knows maybe I can get Julie to weigh in on some of these things.



Carmen S. said...

Hi Michael, tell Julie we will miss her input but will enjoy your thoughts as we await her return;) I am a HUGE fan of your precious Missy and love how she snuck right into that pic, LOL!!!!

Concetta said...

Good Morning Bubby,
So glad you are contributing to the blog you originally created! Miss you guys like crazy - I can hear your voice as I read your words! I believe that since Jules is not spending tim blogging she can get crack-a-lackin on our gizzard dinner - I would also like some gravy, mac and cheese and a side of limas. Keep me updated on the progress.
Love you,

Unknown said...

Hi Michael--I've enjoyed reading the blog and have found Julie's writings calming and encouraging. I was happy to see that the blog is back up!! God Bless you both.

Nancy R. Carter said...

Hi Michael,
My husband and I can definitely relate to how complex it is to work towards a seemingly simple lifestyle. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
~Nancy @ Lessons Learned on the Farm

Andrea Cherie said...

I'm so glad to hear from you guys- you're one of my favorite blogs ( I follow guys are real, I like that!)

And yes, the "complex simplicity" discussion is a regular occurrence around here. And a frustrating one at that. I'm anxious to hear you weigh in on this issue!

Boysaplenty!! said...

Well Michael, even though we don't get Julie, we are certainly happy that you stepped in for her! We are so glad to hear from ya'll. I second Andrea Cherie-"you guys are real"!! I like that too! Pam