Now that things are finally starting to calm down a bit, I hope to post more about our Farm / Home Stays. As I noted in previous posts, Mike and I are basically without a permanent home and now have very few possessions. We cannot afford to stay in hotel/motels, and we cannot seem to get an apartment without having some sort of employment (go figure, right?). So we had to think outside the box and Mike came up with a great idea. Farm/Home Stays.
Basically, what we are doing is volunteering a someone’s farm or home to do work (a predetermined number of hours a week) in exchange for room and meals. We do buy some of the food as it only seems fair. The first Farm Stay was only for a weekend, but our current one may go a few weeks. In the meantime, Mike is contacting other people who might need help in order to line up our next stay.
We are lucky because Mike has quite a few skills that make him valuable on a farm or doing home repairs. I, on the other hand, have spent most of my life sitting behind a desk and typing for a living. I fear that my skills are not quite as in demand. Luckily though, many years ago I went through my “Martha Stewart” phase so I have some homemaking skills that I can use. But I still feel very unsure of myself. One wants to be sure that they pull their own weight when doing a Farm / Home Stay.
Anyway, our first Farm Stay was with a lovely family just outside of Bowling Green, Kentucky. Our Host, runs a small farm with cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, bees, dogs and cats. She utilizes farming techniques from the 30s and 40s, which she taught herself. Her animals are treated so well, they are actually stress-free. They roam in beautiful green pastures (she moves them often so the land stays in good condition) and are tended to in a loving fashion.
I, like many of you, have watched the Big Farm documentaries and have some knowledge of the horrific practices some corporate farms use in order to feed people at a profit for themselves. I used to think myself as frugal until this short Farm Stay. They use EVERYTHING, nothing is wasted. They have reverence for the Earth and its bounty and the Earth seems to be shining on them for their great stewardship.
I cannot begin to fathom all the things I learned in that 2 1/2 day stay. I am still trying to come back from a really bad anemic episode, so I am still feeling weak and very low. We talked how our food was designed to heal us but instead the processed foods we eat are doing the opposite. I know my body has a difficult time up-taking nutrients, and the human body was not designed for that. Everything I thought I knew about food has changed.
It is amazing how you can meet someone for a short time and they can leave such an imprint on your life. Our host did that. I feel so honored to have met her and her family and to have seen her farm. Their way of life is SO different from the way Mike and I have lived in the past, but now we are open to these types of experiences. I am generally a germaphobe by nature, but I have to step outside of any kind of comfort zone that I know in order to live in these other people’s lives. It is a true test for me.
I envy Mike as he just jumps in, no matter what and adapts. I am slower to adapt, but I am trying very hard to be the person who “rolls with it Baby.” I can see now that these experiences are going to be the ones that teach me about life. I thought the road trip was going to teach me about life and about God, but now I see it is going to be living with people who were strangers in the beginning (friends in the end) and living a life that is not mine. That is going to change me. That is where my knowledge will come. I stayed insulated in my little world for so many years, now that is all gone and I have to find my way in a world that I know little about. It is scary but actually very exciting.
We are officially a week and two days into our new life and things seem different already. I cannot wait to write more about it as I spend some trying time trying to figure it all out. Please stay tuned because things are going to get very real!!!!!
Thank you for listening!