Blogging? Farming? Both?
- May 01,2020
I spent entirely too much time thinking about what my first-ever farm blog should be about. In the end, I decided to simply share some general thoughts about blogging, farming, and blogging about farming.
I have never been terribly interested in blogs, bloggers, or blogging. Admittedly, I use to think that blogs were just the rambling, one-sided opinions of people who like to hear themselves talk (but were not committed or good enough to write a book about it). The whole endeavor, for blog producers and blog consumers alike, seemed like a waste of time.
My perspectives were challenged, however, when my wife started writing a blog for work. I quickly realized that not all blogs or bloggers are created equal. There are true subject matter experts who actually do have interesting and informative things to say. More importantly, there are swaths of people who seek out topic specific blogs to read. Who knew? So, yes, in my own ignorance about blogging, I was unfairly judgmental.
By the way, if you want to see what a real blog looks like. Check out: https://lmuwomenshealth.wordpress.com/
Now, when it comes to farming, I had some preconceived notions and thoughts about that too. While these opinions were also formulated out of ignorance, they were different from those about blogs. I fell in love with farming (or at least the idea of it) long before I actually witnessed its full character. Opposite from my feelings about blogs, I thought farming was time well spent, a selfless act, and good for everyone. … Then my wife and I started our own family farm five years ago. I quickly realized that not all farms or farmers are created equal. Not every subject matter expert out there is actually concerned about producing quality products in environmentally friendly ways. More disappointingly, profits drive human actions more than the growing knowledge that there is an entire world that can benefit from healthy food sources that utilize sustainable methods of production.
So, yes, in my own over-romanticized view of farming, I was relatively unaware to the complex challenges that face farmers on a daily basis, both at the local and global levels. I was not so ignorant to think that farming was “easy” work. I expected, even looked forward to, the physical labors that accompanied the occupation. What I was ignorant about, however, was the regional and even national impact farming methods and practices are having on our planet. That is not even addressing the alarming projections being made for the future (plenty of prospect blogging material I suppose). I can only hope we get better at finding ways to implement the best and healthiest farming practices at the micro-level while remaining conscience of what is happening on the macro-level. Ultimately, perhaps enough micro eventually becomes macro.
So, why blog about farming? I have been farming, if you include our time spent setting-up and building the infrastructure of the farm itself, for about five years now. Which translates to, in farmer-talk, a rookie. There are a lot of people who are more experienced and qualified to talk about farming than I am. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of farmers getting their knowledge out there. Aside from the shrinking population of farmers in general, I think that most of them feel like I do; “I don’t have time to write about what I am doing. I don’t even have enough time to finish things on my farm!” or “Who really cares anyway?”
Interestingly, during this five-year chapter of our life, I noticed a rather significant amount of curiosity from family and friends about farming. I attributed a lot of that to their love for my family and simply showing interest in what we were doing “these days.” But then, it became apparent, that their curiosity went beyond us. Nicole and I found that people are more interested in farming than we ever imagined. There are so many potential motivators for the questions we receive, from food conscious consumers to those who feel trapped in modern day cubical jobs that wonder what it is like to toil in the dirt and actually produce something tangible. Regardless of their individual reasons for inquiry the translation to us is the same, there are people who want to know more about the topic … so, here goes.