are you kidding me?
I was thinking last night while thouroughly enjoying the Neil Young set list at Farm Aid that though it seems my adventures in Niger are past, my new adventures are shaping up to be just as fulfilling.
Currently I am sitting on a little farm called Ceder Circle Farms located in North Thetford Vermont. My temporary residence is nestled up to the conneticut river in a little stowed away in the hills of northern vermont. They are a working farm complete with farm store, cafe, vegetable and orchards, as well as two magnificent Belgium draft horses named buddy and companion.
Two days ago I returned from CA, left the next afternoon for Boston, not knowing either where I would sleep, nor more importantly even where farm aid was, but no worries, that's all details that work themselves out as they go.
So I arrived in Mansfield Mass, about 2330 and did some reconnoitering around the festival grounds and chose a patch of soft grass to rest my bones, and then proceeded to sing myself to sleep while playing mandolin and keeping the morning dew off of my with a borrowed tarp i took off a polish sausage stand.
The next morning I awoke bright and early and met up with my current hosts, Will and Kate Allen. They put up a both to talk about the real costs of cheap food, and as an expert in the field, Will has recently released a fantastic book outlining the history and relationships related to the chemical warfare on our farmlands named "War on Bugs".
I was sent this way to learn from Will, and take away some ideas from them of how to proceed with the farmers veteran coaltion, and more importantly surf the wave of this agricultural movement I currently find myself a part of.
The lessons of food security and the importance of farming intelligently from Niger are returning to me through every conversation I have with interested listeners, and I find myself in a unique posisition having come from that experiance, yet conflicted because my heart pulls me back there, but my roots in America are spreading and it seems that for no America is going to be my home again.
If one was to ask two weeks ago where will I be for the next year, I would say with 75% certainty that I will return to Niger, but after my trip to CA, and having set some plans in motion, its now 85% certain I"m going to be living in Northern California before the year is out.
Here is the Plan.
Matt, Michael O'gorman and a couple others have decided that we are going to start a farm in Northern California, and devote our labors towards producing quality produce to feed into high value markets in the bay area as well as providing locally grown food to the communities we're established in. Through this venture we are also going to develop a veteran-farmer training program to move vets through our farms and our network of emerging partners established throughout America to give these guys some time to learn some skills, travel, heal, and move in new directions to put young able bodied folk on farms.
Alright, I have been living in the desert for a year and a half, not a hot day ellapsed without me daydreaming of kayaking or canoeing down a river, and since I hurt my back I was unable to, but now it seems all the stars have aligned and its time to jump in the river (bathe) and then observe the beautiful landscapes of northern vermont as the changing of the seasons develop.
I hope all is well in each corner of the world for whomever is reading this, on this end, things couldn't be better.