This video & Article is produced in partnership with WOMEN WHO FARM
During the summer, while my friends dance at music festivals, my family and I plant the last crops on our farm. In the crippling heat, we irrigate with limited amounts of water, harvest hundreds of pound of vegetables, and sell at two farmer’s markets. The hours are long and double what most people work in a single week. First year farming in August shattered all romantic ideas of being a farmer. August is not an easy month on the farm.
Most nights, with only a half hour to myself, and no desire to shower, I crawl into bed covered in dirt. Still, every morning after collecting the duck eggs, as an offering I take one egg to Buddha. This is how I honor life and the gift of being a farmer. To work the land with my family, to listen to the constant sound of bird song and frogs; there is nothing better. All the hard work in August cannot come close to tarnishing the beauty of growing and selling food for our community.
I spent my early 20’s traveling India, Nepal, China, and Tibet alone in the mountains, sometimes weeks on end in the Himalayas. I was gone for a year. Even with all the experiences of being smuggled in the back of a jeep into Tibet, nothing could prepare me for the absolute wild ride that farming would take me on. I knew I had to share my story of a being a women in agriculture. There was a book somewhere in there, just waiting to be written.
My travels taught me to give thanks and offerings to Buddha. As it was in the summer, a duck egg would sit at Buddha’s feet, a statue nestled in the foot of an old oak tree. Every day I would sit in the shade of this tree and see the duck egg gone. Sometimes fragments of the shell would be scattered in the mossy rocks that covered the oak’s roots. Sometimes it would just vanish. The ravens were stealing Buddha’s egg.
I continued to give offerings, and they continued to be stolen. Sitting in the shade, the swollow’s tailing over head, an idea popped into my mind. “The Raven that Stole Buddha’s Duck Egg and Other Stories of Women Who Farm.”
In that moment I realized the stories of all women farming, tending to the goodness of the world, needed to be heard. These women, experts in seed saving, bee keeping, knitting, storing and fermenting food, growing food, are some of the most skilled women you will ever meet. Their very lives weave a narrative of regeneration and resilient living. I had to share these stories!
From this small gift of a thief, Women Who Farm was born. It took a while before I decided to move aheah. A little voice, as I planted out the last of the broccolli, “The time is now, the time is now!” urged me to begin.
I started contacting women, trying to find farmers that might like to be apart of the project. At first, no one replied to my emails. I started a facebook page in hopes my call out for farmers would go viral. When I received my first submission from Jen Becker, a farmer in North Pole Alaska, I knew the project was on its way. She is one of the amazing women in the upcoming book who shares her stories of moose getting into her farm, bees and selling CSA in North Pole Alaska.
I contacted Syd of Over Grow The System, in hopes he could send my invitation to any farmer suitable for the project. Not only did he send me amazing contacts, he invited me to be apart of the Over Grow Family.
Women Who Farm now has a channel on Over Grow the System’s website. We are in the midst of creating short films, inspiring articles, and a platform for all women to share their victories on the land. This platform will be available to all women who are called to share their story of farming, homesteading, off grid living, gardening, market growing and urban farming.
Stay tuned for the book, and please get involved! It is our hopes to share the stories of all Women Who Farm! We believe that through these stories, we can create a more biodiverse food system, which in turn will bring about a more ecologically based world.
To Raven and Buddha, I am eternally grateful! And to all those who have given time, energy and love to this project, you know who you are, big love!