I feel like I started my shiny new GRIT blog without properly introducing myself. So, here is a bit of how a dirt-hating city dweller got to the point of writing about chasing sheep around the countryside on the weekends.
I grew up at the base of the Sierra Nevada foothills, not exactly rural America but more country than city. I always was an “indoor girl” with the desire to avoid sweat and grimy hands. For many years my family had virtually no water to take care of our ¾ acre, so hauling heavy buckets from the house and weeding star-thistle were much avoided summer-time tasks.
Like most little girls I eventually grew up, however reluctantly. I survived high school, went to college and landed in nearby Sacramento, the City of Trees, doing accounting work. I got my Certified Public Accountant license as soon as I could … and then realized staring into the cold glow of a computer screen for a living was not my idea of living.
I spent a couple of vocationally discontented years treading water in my jobs until one day last December the mention of a goat hit me straight in the heart. My boyfriend kept talking about wanting goats; he even brought a book home from the city library. Out of the blue, a passion for all things agriculture and food related was awakened in me.
As soon as this passion was exposed, I acted on it. I found a flexible internship with local shepherd, Dan of Flying Mule Farms, which I started in February 2011. At the time I figured sheep were close enough to goats; I just wanted to start getting comfortable working with livestock. I now spend most Saturdays working with Dan, the sheep and at the farmer’s market selling grass fed lamb and beef. The weirdest part – I am now proud of getting sweaty and dirty!
I really enjoy working with sheep; they are the highlight of my week. I sit in an office during the week and daydream about farming. As of now I would like to open a sheep dairy … no easy task for someone with no land, no sheep and little money. My preferred bridge to having my own dairy is to intern at someone else’s dairy; plans and hopes for that are currently in the works. I am also recently engaged, so throw in a little wedding planning and you have a pretty good idea of my life today.
I have been blogging since March here, so if you would like to check out any of my previous posts, I invite you to it. For the most part the two blogs will be identical from here on out.
Thanks for reading! I welcome feedback and advice.