Growing, In More Ways Than One
I am painfully shy. I teach online birthing classes every week, and I love to do that, but the confidence to do so has been years in coming. I also think that I could get up and give a speech or teach a live class. I'd be nervous, but I could do it.
Tell me I need to call someone on the phone, however, and I want to hide in a closet. I get so nervous that I've taken to writing down my own phone number and address before I make calls, so I can just look at the piece of paper when I'm anxious and my mind goes blank. I'm so thankful for email, as it makes initial contacts a little easier, at least most of the time.
But one things I'm realizing is that if we want a real go at this homestead thing, and especially if we ever want to farm to provide goods in the community, is that I have to make connections. We don't really know how to do any of this stuff!
Books tend to be where I turn first, and for the most part, they serve me really well. I love Amazon.com simply because of the extensive book reviews. I can usually read reviews and know if a book will be what I'm looking for, or at least if it will get me part of the way to where I'm going. We've gotten some great books and I continue to get more as we start to broaden our horizons and look into other aspects of farming.
But there are times when real life experience and wisdom are helpful. And there are times when connections are absolutely required. I've found that I've been forced to go this way in my business as the same time as I'm looking at it for the farm, which is a blessing. The Lord knows what I need 🙂
I've been reaching out more and more to other business owners in my niche (pregnancy and childbirth) and I'm having to do the same here. We've got to get to know people to get a good dog. To decide if we want goats. To find the type of cow we want. There's a CSA down the road from us and I need to call them. Not only do they have kids, but they're doing permaculture work similar to what we want, right down the road. They're dealing with a really similar environment.
There's a lot to learn. I'm most comfortable with email and with forums, and there's certainly wisdom to be gained in those places. But I'm also having to stretch out of my comfort zone and find real connections in our community. Ethan on the Beginning Farmer podcast says to reach out to those who farm like you do, and to those who don't – there's something to learn from people who have been farming, even if it's not exactly how you decide to do it.
So here's to growing, in more ways than one.