Farming for the Soul

Monday, October 10, 2016

Tomorrow I'll be going to Colorado for the first time. I've always wanted to go and really didn't think I would have a reason to in the near future... But, a couple of weeks ago I decided to kill two dream birds with one stone and head to the midwest to work on an organic farm. I guess I'm in a period where I'm trying to match my actual life to my philosophy of life, which is essentially "follow the fun."

This is something I've wanted to do for a couple of years now. Essentially ever since I moved to the city, I realized how much I appreciate nature and farming when I do get to do it. I grew up on a small farm-turned-orchard in Connecticut, and I realize that's my favorite kind of environment. In it, you get to create many of the things that you depend on, meaning you're really just dependent on yourself :) it's a wonderful feeling, and it makes you realize how much of the materialism we are surrounded by is made up (which is kind of relieving). It's not necessary to push ourselves so hard to earn these things that we don't need. It can be better to live a slightly more relaxed and natural life and reap fewer materialistic "benefits" than to exert ourselves in the city to earn more and more cool gadgets/vacations/clothes/etc...

On a side note - I'd like to talk about how the lifestyle and journey of my parents had a big impact on my decision to get back into farming. My mom has always been a waitress and farmer and my dad has been a stone mason my whole life. My brother, sister, and I grew up without the standard "nice things." We didn't have a bathroom in my house for a few years when I was in high school, we chopped wood for heat in the house, but had a chimney fire and didn't have heat after that, and before I was born, my family all lived in the Rocky Mountains in CO in a tent and then a camper. My dad would hunt for my mom and sister and brother, and he would use the abundant rock in nearby quarries to try to sustain his stone masonry. Eventually, they moved to CT to start a farm. 

I just think it's so cool how they always made it work, and always made it seem like even though we didn't have money, everything was great in life. We were all working hard and having fun and loving each other, and so it never felt like anything was missing - in fact, it just heightened our desire for each other's company. Now that I live in the city and have access to many amenities, I actually miss being in touch with that sense of independence, hands-on activity/craftiness, and carefree, abundant love. (Not saying I'm devoid of it! It's just existing on a smaller, less frequent scale).

I've realized you can certainly have a bit of both of these worlds of course, but I am personally striving for a life that involves more of the earthy side. My first step was signing up for a WWOOF membership (stands for: Worldwide Organization of Organic Farming). It allows you to view organic farms throughout the US and abroad, and once you find the one that suits you best, to work on the farm in exchange for room & board, food, and a wealth of learning. I chose one that involves permaculture (to know more about permaculture-I recommend listening to The Permaculture Podcast) and is situated in my favorite kind of environment, the midwest. Everyone has different preferences, and there's a farm for every kind.

I'll be gone for about a month & I couldn't be more excited. There will be almost no electricity or cell service and we will be fully immersed in farming, 5 days/week. I'm hoping to gain some knowledge to use on my own farm one day, in order to live a more self-sustaining, rewarding, and healthy lifestyle, and I will be taking lots of photos to share with everybody when I return!

Here are some resources I recommend if you are also interested in learning more about farming :)
-Living on a Few Acres, published by The Department of Agriculture (1978)
-Miraculous Abundance: One Quarter Acre, Two Farmers, and Enough Food to Feed the World, by Perrine & Charles Herve-Gruyere (2016)
-The Permaculture Podcast
-The Week by Week Vegetable Gardner's Handbook, by Jennifer Kujawski (2011)


  1. Dana that is awesome, its pretty rare for people in their twenty's to value things like the ones you described and even more to chase that lifestyle. I hope you have an amazing time at the farm!

  2. Have you ever read the memoir, "The Glass Castle"?? It loosely reminds me of your past, I think you might enjoy it!

    1. I have! Such a great story. It really resonated with me :)

  3. That's awesome!! :) I've had a few friends who have signed up and done WWOOFing and all have had tremendously positive experiences! Definitely something I want to try in the future. Have fun in Colorado, it's gorgeous out there! x

  4. Have fun Dayna, I respect you believing in the simple beautiful things in life. Will any of your friends and family be going with you?

  5. I always patiently wait for your next blog, it is always inspiring, one way or another. And Thank You for that! Your appreciation for nature, farming made me think of doing what I really wanted to do in my life too. And it's helping or giving out, I don't know but it is so fulfilling for me. Since I'm living alone there are some days when my stock of food are too much for me (for several reasons like my family bringing me food too) so I'm preparing/dividing food enough for myself and planning to give out the rest to those who need it the most. I'm sorry I can't stop myself from sharing hehe, it's just such a good topic of what feed our souls. :)

  6. I really enjoyed reading this. Thank you for sharing

  7. I really enjoyed reading this. All the best, and share with us your experience once you're back! I think it is a really great thing that you're doing. <3

  8. So great for you to get back to your roots and find some calmness! I'm from farm country in Pennsylvania and the oldest farm in our county just burnt down :( CO is a dream of mine as well, hope you have an enriching experience!

  9. while reading the post i was thinking about myself. i'm 20, i have two older siblings and my father does more or less the same thing as yours (he's a builder). we kind of had a similar childhood and i think it's amazing how you managed to move to NYC and i'd really love to hear the whole story :) it's great how you kept that wish to live a simple life through these years. while growing up i thought that i wanted to have money and pretty things..but now i realize that this is not what really matters in life. so now i'm just trying my best to become a nurse and be a happy and nice person :) thank you so much for sharing this, i love you even more. you're a lovely, beautiful girl
    xoxo from italy



By Dayna Frazer