Saturday, February 26, 2011

Farmer D TEDx Talk

Check this guy out! Farmer D is full of really awesome information. He's clearly well educated and really experienced...not to mention pretty cute. He has basically put into words a lot of what our tribe has been thinking about, talking about, and educating ourselves about these past few months. I love that he so eloquently melded what should be our shared concerns of our modern day society. I can't wait to hear what you guys think of all this fabulous information. Lets educate ourselves and bring ourselves closer to our food sources!! Enjoy!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Ideas Anyone?

I'm feeling the need to write a followup to my previous post. I talked about the naysayers but seem to have left out a really important part...the many many people who HAVE been excited and supportive. One of the coolest parts of this experience so far is all the fabulous, sometimes very creative ideas that people have shared with us. Suggestions have included everything from how to build various things to business ideas, to what boots are the best. One of my personal favorites is to "always wear a skirt when working in the garden because you'll get a nice breeze on your tushy". Brilliant!! We love hearing everyone's ideas and experiences. Please share more!!
I also didn't mention all the people who have offered to help in various ways once we have actually purchased our farm. I can't wait to put all of these willing hands to work. Before we know it we'll be comparing calluses...and they wont be from pullups for once!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Great Adventure

Did I say six of us? The dogs had a meeting and they're in too!
I LOVE to talk about our future plans to pretty much anyone who will listen...friends, family, coworkers, total strangers, you name it! In fact, most of you have probably been sucked into my excited jabber at some point! In all of my many "talking about myself (and our plans)" experiences of recent, most often the conversation goes something like this:
Steph: "So...we're buying a farm"
Totally random person...perhaps the Verizon guy who called to ask me to buy something from him: "What?! That's so cool!! So you grew up on a farm?"
Steph: "No"
Person: "So you have experience with farming?"
Steph: "Not exactly"
Person: "So you must be a really good gardener."
Steph: "No, I've actually never gardened in my life."
Person (generally said with much understanding): " your friends must have experience!"
Steph: "Mmmm not really."
At this point the person either starts getting really excited and super supportive and says something along the lines of "Wow, you guys are so brave! I wish I could do that!" or "Can I come?!". But every once in a while they feel the need to describe to me exactly how difficult it's going to fact, LOTS of people feel the need to explain that to me. Then sometimes they even follow up with all the reasons it's not going to work. I appreciate the concern and here's my response:
Between the six (I'm definitely including the kiddos on this one) of us we are resourceful, creative, good with finances (and not so good with finances), pretty dang handy and good with duct tape. We have a plethora of experiences, quite a few unique ideas, and lots of good intention. We are, for the most part hard workers, although I have to admit I loooove to sleep late.  Most importantly, every one of us has the heart of an adventurer and it is because of that that we will succeed...or not. Either way it will be a great adventure and we will be in it together!!
Ninety-nine percent of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.
- George Washington
Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
- T.S. Eliot
Whatever your actions, it’s the intention you hold in your heart that truly matters.
-Dalai Lama

Monday, February 14, 2011

Marching to the beat of our own drum... a sometimes very loud drum

Something I love that I noticed this weekend about our family is our ability to stand out even among an already semi odd and diverse group of people. While staying in the Courtyard Marriott in Danville for the farmers conference, we were inspired by all the traveling business people having meetings in the hotel lounge. Having very serious business of our own to discuss, including everything from farm finances to how many dogs each of us are allowed in our tiny future farm house, we decided a very serious power pajama meeting was in order (pictured right).

Also included this weekend for the worlds entertainment:
  • Our Crossfit style workouts on the front lawn of the hotel, a spectacle for everyone in the hotel and the main highway passing by
  • The kid fort under our table during the business planning portion of the conference
  • Marissa and I trying unsuccessfully to sneak quietly out of any seminar we deemed boring.
  • Knowing that any loud clanging noise coming from another room was most likely Blue dropping something
Thinking about all these things made me appreciate how the family structure we are creating and the lifestyle we are choosing to share will give us the opportunity to enjoy being different. Here's to awkward moments... Cheers

Tribal Conference

Attending the Virginia Biological Farmers Conference was the perfect first official act for our tribe. It's the first time we have all been together in a long time. Bryce has been vacationing in Afghanistan for the last 6 months, I have been living and volunteering in asia, Steph doing travel nursing in Atlanta and Marissa training the next generation of our tribe in the rugged Blue mountains of Virgina. The fact that we all got to be together is special in its own right.

Through out the conference I was impressed by the amazing ideas coming from such a diverse group of people. Most of all, I was impressed by the willingness of these people to share their hard earned ideas with strangers brought together by a common goal. Grow real food in a sustainable way. This simple idea has been buried for a long time and seeing this diverse group working together to bring it back was inspiring. Tribal Act 1... Success

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Here's the Beginning of Our Story...

Marissa and I met in nursing school at FSU in 2003ish. My first memory of Marissa is when we were partnered up to practice bed baths. I was thinking something along the lines of “man she’s got awesome abs” and as far as I’m concerned we’ve been friends ever since. Bryce and Marissa recently got married after many years of partnership (that’s a fabulous story I’ll let them share if they want to) and have the two coolest kids I have ever met by far, Catalina (9) and Nolan Blue (6). John is my amazing “little big” brother. Throughout the years, the four of us have played many different roles to each other including colleagues, travel buddies, flatmates, workout partners, team mates, most importantly friends, and everything in between...essentially creating our own unique family, which we now lovingly call our Tribe.

So, while Bryce was deployed in Afghanistan and John was volunteering in Cambodia, Marissa and I were participating in a “Happiness Training” with the kids when we came upon a project where we were supposed to draw a picture of an “important life goal”. As we stood back and looked at the fridge covered with our drawings of dreams we realized that our goals were completely compatible and so we got to plotting.