I have spent much of the past week on airplanes. Sometimes that’s the way life goes. I have a very inflexible schedule for December, which means the poor stubborn boy has been going it alone at the house all week. He’s been up at the farm, and I’ve been bringing home the ~ ehr, bacon?
I actually got sent out to Madrid, España, yesterday with my airline. I have to say, in spite of the awful flight, I’m thrilled to be writing this post from Spain. After all, this is where I started my love affair with farm life last February. Here’s the scoop:
Way back in September of 2010, I finally said out loud this ~I~D~E~A~ brewing in my mind, that I wanted to have a little house in the country with some land and a garden and some goats and chickens. But stubborn boy pointed out that a) I couldn’t have animals unless I could take care of them and b) I couldn’t take care of them because I knew nothing about them and c) even if I knew how to take care of them, I’d have to be with them every day. Not a very good plan when one is a flight attendant and gone from home an average of 15 days a month.
Not to be dissuaded, I set out to get some hands on skills. But since Brooklyn isn’t really a hotbed of rural farming opportunities, I joined the not-for-profit organization WWOOF [World Wide Opportunites on Organic Farms]. This group connects people who want to learn about farming with actual farmers. In return for free labor, WWOOFers get free room and board and learn loads of skills about organic farming. There are farms all over the world and if you’re at all curious, I encourage you to check out their website at:
It is well worth the $35 user registration fee. And well, since I’m a flight attendant and can fly anywhere on the cheap, it seemed reasonable to go to a country where I like the cheese and can speak the language. Thus, I found my way to Santamera, España and into the lives of my two patrons, Maxi and Samuel. These two granjeros (farmers) have been raising goats and chickens and pigs in the mountains of Spain, just 150 km northeast of Madrid. The two friends meted out wisdom with humor and patience, and is an ongoing relationship between us. They have even offered to come to New York to help me with some of the setup of my own farm.
I will actually be seeing them in just a few weeks. In mid January I am travelling to their farm for another skillshare weekend. I can’t wait to return, to see all of the changes and also to see all the girls (goats) again. I’m sure they’ve been missing me desperately.
I did invite the men up to Madrid to spend Christmas Eve with me but such is farm life. They couldn’t come. Who would watch over their animals? Score one for stubborn boy…