Wow! This is crazy! I've talked about farm life for so many years & now I am living the life I dreamed of & I can hardly believe it! I'm on such a small scale I almost feel bad saying I am a farmer....almost! I have been a business owner since 2015 so I knew my first year out the gate would not be profitable. I worked a full time job & would have continued doing so if it had not been for the coronavirus hitting us hard in 2020. Even though I was laid off & wanted to retire officially from bartending I went back to work in the beginning of 2021. I feel like the lock down was a blessing & a curse for me. My business did well, but the post office delays were a huge headache for me.
If you recall, it took me months to clean this house & yard when I first arrived in Alabama. When I started the original garden the yard was not even fully clean yet. I still have trash I am in the process of getting rid of, but with Black, my uncle living here as well it is a process. Black is a bit of a hoarder & a spoiled brat, which is another reason it has taken us so long to get the yard all the way clean. There is some sense of entitlement there as well that I have had to contend with, but I persist & prevail. I feel like I am entitled to do what I want to do with the house & the yard as well. However, I am more willing to compromise than my uncle has been, but year 2 has seen a progression in the compromising on both of our parts. We will slowly, but surely get it together & both be happy.
I converted some of the "junk" my uncle had around the yard into planters. I operate with half a yard now, but I am realizing I would rather keep my plants contained so it is not necessarily a bad thing. I am in the process of transferring to a complete container "farm" next year. The tires from last year are still holding strong even though I have changed the concept of the boat & truck & moved them all to one side of the yard. The sunflowers didn't make it this year so I covered the truck with peppers in pots. I will grow peppers in it next year. The boat had cucumbers, watermelons, tomatoes & peppers instead of flowers this year. The flowers never made it, no matter how hard I try I cannot grow flowers.
I have not only been growing my business in this time I have been learning so much about myself, my family, our history & farming. I am extremely proud of the growth I have experienced since making this move. I have been inconsistent with my blogging, but I appreciate you all hanging in there with me. Can you believe I am really in my second year of this farm life?? Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined being in this place in my life!!!! I honestly believe that I had to get back to my roots to actually find what I was out in the world looking for all those years. It took the isolation of being here, essentially alone to be able to open myself up to the world & the possibilities of my destiny. My dreams have both evolved & come full circle since I have been here in the space & company of my ancestors.
I have learned so much about farming, yet there's so much to learn. I have learned that farming is more time consuming than I ever imagined. I have a very extensive herb garden with an extremely long wish list. Most herbs have an array of benefits & assist your mind, body & spirit in healing a vast array of ailments. Growing them is a different level of commitment that I have embarked on. Even though it is my favorite part it is the more difficult part of the journey. Emotionally, financially & creatively you lose so much more when you grow your own apothecary.
I have learned how difficult it is to make a living as a farmer, herbalist & healer. I realize & acknowledge that I will need more land & help before I will be able to retire & be a full time farmacist. The shadow work that I am continuously doing working this close with nature is a plus. You learn so much about the connectedness of the world & everything in it when you work with Mother Nature. She is a compassionate teacher. She teaches you not only about your own spirit, she also lends you much knowledge about the world around you. Knowledge that leads to realizations which make navigating this realm much easier. It is easy to remain grounded when caring for nature that will eventually heal ailments.
Plant life is very reminiscent of human life. In the simple act of repotting my plants I learned that if you don't have enough room to grow you become stagnant. You still look fairly healthy on the outside, but your growth slows down significantly or stops altogether. You don't even recognize it from the outside. You look the same. It isn't until you look inside, pull that plant out of the pot that you realize it is root bound. My growth was stagnated because my environment was too small. As with plants it took me a little while to get used to my new home & begin to flourish.
There is also quite a bit of trial & error. Sometimes, even when you give them more room they still don't grow or they may even die. It could be the soil. It is possible that you don't water it enough or you water it too much. It may be a case of not enough sun or too much sun. Plants get too hot & too cold. They become nutrient deficient if you do not feed them properly. They usually show signs of disease or deficiencies long before they die. Same with our bodies. If you take care of your body it will take care of you. We must nurture them as a whole in order for them to work to their complete capabilities.
So now here I am almost at the end of year 2 of my farm life journey & I couldn't be happier. I am leaps & bounds beyond where I was when I started this. I am looking at ways of expanding & working on other business ventures & opportunities. I am extremely excited about where the Sweet Martha's brand is going! Thank you so much for taking this ride with me & supporting me despite my inconsistency at times! We are so far from the starting block, but not even close to the finish line! Be well my loves!
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