to make a farm ~ a documentary

we’ve been camping twice already this season, and one of my favourite things about camping is driving home. no, that’s not because i can’t wait to get back to the luxury of civilized life. well, there’s that too. i’d be lying if i said plopping down on my bed isn’t a luxury. it certainly is and it’s a feeling that can be replicated in only one place on earth … home.

but no, what i mean is, i like the drive home from camping because it’s a time to reflect. we’ve usually just spent a few days in the relative wilderness (i say relative, because we have hydro hook up available and the provincial parks have hot showers with surprisingly good water pressure that will blast off any remnants of nature that may be trying to hitch a ride). we’ve endured the elements (ok, so we’ve upgraded from tent camping to a travel trailer…is that still even “camping”? it’s so nice, how did we ever do this before?). and we’ve used limited resources, like water…heat…patience, when the kids are told for the 178th time to keep the molten marshmallow that has spontaneously combusted in flames away from my face already!

camping is not for the faint hearted.

where was i? oh yes, that peaceful drive home. where the bobbing of the telephone wires along the country roads lulls you into reverie, gets you thinking about another way of life. there is something so beautiful about the ontario countryside. driving out into it, the city gives way to suburban sprawl gives way to quaint little towns and twisted roads that carry you along to acres and acres of trees and fields and farms. the plots of land that patch together perfectly like a quilt are only broken up by the odd gas station or coffee shop. it’s the land where coffee time outnumbers tim horton’s. where there are tsc stores in place of walmart. where motels have names like “dew drop inn” and restaurants are named after the gal who serves you the coffee.

seeing the farmers busy on their land at this time of year makes me wonder about what it would be like to live on a farm. now i don’t romanticize the notion (as i roll up the window to quell the “ew, what’s that smell?” questions coming from the back of the van). and i know that it’s immensely hard work. i can barely keep up with my little patch of a garden, let alone anything large enough to actually sustain life, contribute to a community and do so with profit enough at the end of the day to keep doing it.

i often wonder about the ins and outs of farming, and i commented to mr.madeItSo on a recent drive home that i wouldn’t know the first thing to do if i were given a large plot of land to farm. i half joked that when the world is overpopulated and we’re scrambling for space, food and clean water, it will be the small-scale farmers, those who held onto their plots of land and passed down their wisdom of sustainable living off the land, they will be the ones who survive and whose sage knowledge will be in demand by the rest of us.

almost as in a response to me, a documentary came on tv tonight. to make a farm. beautifully made in canada by steve suderman, it follows 5 young people as they begin a life of farming. i don’t want to say too much about it, but if you’re at all curious and enjoy a good doc, do watch it. it’s inspiring, insightful and at times, a little heartbreaking as the farmers share their passion and challenges along the way. you can learn more about it and watch clips here. if you’re in ontario, the show will air again over the next few weeks on tvo.

as for me, i don’t know if the farming life is for me. but i will be heading to the local farmer’s market again now that the season is here. and maybe trying to get my little garden going with a little more gusto.

to make a farm{ driving by… }

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11 Responses to to make a farm ~ a documentary

  1. Abby says:

    Lovely images you’ve created here! I often dream about the same thing, working outside, being so connected to life.

  2. Tara Benwell says:

    I absolutely loved every word of this post. I’ve often dreamed of having a big red barn of my own. I say my own, because hubby would never dream of living on a farm. Thank you for reflecting. I truly enjoyed this journey. I’m heading to the Big Apple for the first time…hoping to have time to reflect on my way home. I’ll probably get home and long to go camping!

  3. Beetree says:

    Well said, Ana. It is so easy to romanticize farm life- collecting fresh eggs, warm milk and ripe veggies. So much hard work and heartbreak go into making it happen. Hand-picking disgusting worms off my tomatillos is enough for me at this point…even though I would love a bit more garden space (and chickens!!!). Much respect for our farmers!

  4. ~*~ Patty says:

    such a nice peaceful easy feeling came over me reading your post dear Ana…I certainly hope I get to visit your Canadian countryside someday…

    camping on any level is always an adventure and I do believe once you’ve slept in a camper there is no going back to an air mattress on the tent floor ;)

    I’m off to check out your link for the farm show

    Hoping that your weekend was lovely in every way

  5. ~*~ Patty says:

    the clips were all super…
    duck duck…
    the rain…
    the director…
    thanks so much for sharing Ana

  6. Sheri says:

    Do you know of the Transition Town movement? It began in England. Perhaps some of their activities might interest you.

  7. Pingback: 2012 in a nutshell | i made it so.

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