This coming September marks our seven year anniversary at Near River, and whilst anytime is a good time to reflect on the journey from somewhere to where you are now, there is something magical about seven, so I’ve chosen to do this now.
Over the next five or six weeks, I’ll be writing a series of posts about our trek that will cover how we made the move and started the enterprise that is Near River Produce, some of the challenges and successes that we’ve met along the way, how our views, goals and directions have altered from before we started to now, and probably most fittingly, what we’ll create for the next seven years of Near River and our community.
Why would I do this? Bear my soul, share deep held beliefs and put them out into the world for examination and ridicule? Very early on my wife and business partner Therese encouraged me to commence blogging about the farm and related issues, and this then moved onto other social media platforms. Whilst the blogging has not been continuous, the posts do provide a record of what occurred at certain points in time, and chronicles our discovery of issues and research that has helped us reach the point we are at now. And social media certainly is a very public way of conducting your life, or at least your business successes and disasters. It also needs to be said that Therese is the recurring nudge to return to the keyboard and create items that are more than 140 characters in length – given that the to do list on any farm is usually rather lengthy, writing, especially during daylight hours, is rarely anywhere near the top of this list.
However the main motivation is everyone else who has a dream, or who had a dream and may have given up on it, or set it aside for a time.
Regularly Therese and I are told that what we’ve done is ‘special’ or ‘amazing’, or we are ‘lucky’, and whilst these comments are justified, from where we sit often either knee deep in pig poo or more often covered in good clean healthy organic soil, otherwise known as ‘dirt’, for us what we’ve done is not that great, special or amazing. Regardless of that, everyone wants to know how it happened, what we did and why we did it.
The short version is that I wanted to be a farmer; I shared this with a few people who as it turned out also wanted to farm or be involved in farming; and we then took the actions to make it happen – find a property, secure finance, complete the sale, move, start growing vegetables, research other crops and stock, discover direct marketing, harvest, package, transport and the sell the produce.
There – the last seven years of our lives in one longish sentence. Of course the real story is what happened in-between these key actions, so enough of the introduction – let’s begin.
(That Was The River) – This Is The Sea – The Waterboys