Farm Beginnings is a 10 month long course covering subjects such as low-cost sustainable farming methods, creative marketing, business-plan writing, etc. put on by the Land Stewardship Project. I have wanted to do this for several years. One year I had gone so far as to complete the application. That was the year Mom came to live with me, so those plans fizzled.
Every year the location changes, and this year it turns out that one of them is not far from my sister's place. If I could drop Mom there, attend class, and pick Mom back up, it might work. Tuition, however, is a problem.
My cousin's wife did the course several years ago, as did their son. He is now naturally raising award-winning hogs for Niman Ranch, using deep bedding and hoop houses. Even standing right next to the hoop house, there is no manure smell. If you have ever driven by, or lived near, a "conventional" hog confinement facility, you know how miraculous that is. I am lucky, and proud, to be able to buy pork from him.
During summers in high school, I lived on their farm and babysat, cooked, cleaned, helped with chores or basically whatever needed doing. Along with Great Aunt Teeter, my experiences on their farm made me want a place of my own. Now that I have it, I want to be as good a steward of the land as I can. I think it is important.