I come from a long line of farmers. I believe that becoming a farmer is a rare and sacred call that I surrendered too in 2014. My great grandparents had a dairy and vineyard after they immigrated here from Switzerland and my grandparents and parents have been growing fruit here at the base of Mt. Hood for almost 100 years. On my dad's side of the family my grandfather used to grow and peddle vegetables in Southern California and both sides made a living growing food for their communities. The longevity and persistence of my ancestor's farming dreams honestly blows my mind these days. I often look upwards at the sky and wonder how they made ends meet year after year and decade after decade. For farming truly is a profession of hope and I have so much honor and respect for my great-grandparents, grandparents, parents and auntie and uncles. There is a reverence we should show to all farmers but especially those in their twilight years. They are truly giants of faith and my heroes.
I am humbled and completed wrecked by the unwavering hope, faith and grit of my farming family. In my first few months of paying the bills of the farm I was very overwhelmed daily and started to wonder if the dream of carrying on the farm would be doomed. The reality that I could fail compelled me to walked around the orchard each night trying to come up with ways I could save my families farm. The only cure for my 24-hour sense of urgency or anxiety was making a list every day for things I was grateful for. My anxiety was crushing but the cure was filling my heart with gratitude and thanks. I felt tremendous pressure to make ends meet and pay my employees and farming partners on time. Each month the bills got bigger and there was zero income coming in. In my old chapter in the city, I had a nice saving account or financial reserve made me feel peaceful and made me feel emotional balanced. On the farm all my chips were in and I cashed in my retirement to be able to afford to buy the land. I had no back up plan or nest egg any longer. I was day by day and had no savings at all.
I carry on the tradition of writing a list of what I am grateful for each day because it has been better than xanax. Here are a few I wrote down today...
1. I am grateful for the rain and the amazing microclimate we live in here in the Hood River Valley. Its absolutely perfect for growing fruit.
2. I am grateful for my amazing parents that are working their hearts out for me on the farm to try to help our farm stay successful and thrive. I am so humbled by their great help that it brings to me tears. They won't let me pay them but they will allow me to take them to dinner every once and a while.
3. I am thankful for an intentional community that has chosen to partner with me in my farming journey and chooses to support my family year after year. Friends of the farm have helped to save my families farm.
4. I am grateful for all the people who are praying each and every day for our 2016 harvests. We have a great crop set out there and I am profoundly grateful.
5. I am thankful for my loyal friends and encouraging words and prayers that come my way on days I am doubting myself.
6. I am grateful that some of the dreams on the farm are taking off and our future is hopeful and bright.
7. I am thankful for my family the farmed before me that didn't give up and didn't quit when it was uncomfortable and hard. I never understood as a child how hard it was to be a farmer.
8. I am thankful for financial miracles that happen each month for me to pay my bills. There is never enough money but it somehow always shows up on time. Backed by heaven and this has been quelling my fears and easing my anxiety as well.
9. I am grateful for our health and the sweet and loyal families that work on our farm for the past many decades. Kinship
10. I am a grateful farmer who sometimes feels anxious but overall feels profoundly thankful for the opportunity to carry on my families farming legacy. xoxo Trina