Doesn't the world just seem perfect when you can give part of yourself and receive back an equal part from another? This last year we've become friendly with a really neat couple just down the road from us.
Last winter I watched as a sprawling grassy field was converted into a glorious garden! The couple, Mike and Melissa bought the property when it went up for sale last fall and did what I always envisioned for that space. I was always so hopeful that someone would convert the pristine sunny exposed property and use it for its potential. It happens to be on our every-day driving route and each time we passed there was something new, something exciting! We'd slow each day while passing and exclaim about the covered rows, or drip lines. And apparently we weren't the only ones; so became Rubberneck Farms.
One day I stopped and introduced myself (Which as many of you know is not typical behavior on my part. I am pretty firmly planted in my comfort zone and reaching out is difficult for me). I let them know we were eager fellow homesteaders up the road with a flock of chickens and a small but hopeful garden. After some sincere conversation it was arranged that for 1 dozen eggs we would take home some of the most flavorful produce you could ever find. Some weeks it's a bag of purple, green and yellow beans, a few zucchini and pound of salad greens. Other days we get to take home a bunch of carrots and tomato's. And I will say that my family eats it with abandon.
This is what drives me to become more self sufficient, this is what I believe it's all about and the thing I earnestly and purposely expose my children to, so that it goes on. We must come back to a place of knowing our neighbors and feeding one another. Not just with food, but with information and empathy. We of course send our texts and e-mails to sync up our trades, but when it comes down to it; when I offer that carton of eggs and they extend their harvest it's putting us out there. We have conversations about our lives, about how our passions have gotten us here. It's what changes my mind about the direction of where our world and country are going, it's what makes my cold and skeptical heart warm a bit; I have evidence: People can be good and can take care of one another.