Starting out, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
I still don’t, entirely, though the learning curve has stopped feeling like mountain climbing and started feeling more like a pleasant hike. When I first thought, “Let’s turn a couple of acres into a hydroponic greens farm,” I had a vague idea of what I meant by it. I’d seen other hydroponic farms, and been inspired by what they could do in small spaces. I’d visited other growers, and had worked with knowledgeable, experienced consultants. We had an architect for the project, and by the time we broke ground, I was as ready as I could have been.
I wasn’t ready at all. Nothing could prepare me for the reality of life on the farm. I wanted to say yes to everything: yes, I’ll grow your shares; yes, I’ll grow your wholesale order; yes, I’ll grow your custom greens. Everything became about growing, growing, growing.
The thing is, plants don’t sprint. You can slow them down a little, or speed them up a little, but for the most part they just take as long as they take. After a little while, I learned not to sprint either. The farm is an extension of me, and of our little team. If we’re worn out, so is everything else.
At the time I took that first step, not knowing everything was the best I could have hoped for. If I’d known how much growth I’d have to do, I’m not sure I would have had the courage. Instead, a little knowledge and a little leap of faith turned into something I’m thankful, every day, to share with my community.
Farmer & Cultivator
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