We have been on the farm for two full months now. Already I know my neighbours better than I did in the city.
Neighbourliness is changing my life.
It makes me want to sing from the roof of the barn. Hallelujah! AHHHHH!!
It has occurred to me very quickly living out here in the sticks:
Neighbourliness isn’t a choice. Neighbourliness is a necessity.
For the last five years or so I’ve struggled to be a homesteader in the city.
Wrestling to put by hundreds of pounds of tomatoes with only two hands, having to buy all our own equipment, working double-time to run the house while pregnant, chasing children, facing a mammoth to-do list come planting and harvest time, and on and on and on.
I’ve realized since living here; this lifestyle isn’t conducive to the modern, isolated individual model of “community”. It just doesn’t work.
We can’t fully become truly independent without embracing interdependence.
It’s just too much dang work.
About a month before we moved here, we found ourselves scoping out wood-burning fireplaces. Another family with a little boy were in the store at the same time, and we got chatting. We told them we were moving to the area from the city, and when we gave them an idea of where our new farm was we discovered they live right around the corner!
(OK, a country corner, about a mile away – but STILL!)
Fast forward a month or so and her and I have been taking our boys for walks around our (very big) block, sharing harvest tips, recipes. This past week when I found myself needing an emergency trip to the doctor and my husband two hours away at work in the city, she watched my son. Without a second thought. Insisted.
Over dinner at their place this weekends our husbands started plotting how they can split the expense of a full-scale chicken processing operation, you build the plucker, I’ll buy the scalder, planned work on their barn, sharing the rental of a post-auger to mend both our fences. We’ll watch their boy later this month as they prepare for the birth of their new baby.
We share the same goals of independence, but really what we are working towards is even better than independence, and will give us TRUE independence from the influences in our lives we would rather do without.
Doesn’t that just make you want to dance?
- the lost art of neighbourliness (slowfoodsmama.com)