Now Who Are You? And How Did You Wind Up here?

| 8/29/2011 9:36:49 AM

Callie HeadshotI 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.

Nebraska Dave
8/29/2011 6:30:45 PM

Callie, I'm glad that you decided to open a blog here at GRIT. It's a great place to read about what's happening with other home steading folks, or in my case urban ranching which means nothing more than a few raised garden beds in the back yard. It's kind of interesting how we can be set on one path in life and passion for another rises up inside of us. Isn't it? In my case technology became the driving force in my life for 40 years but when that season of life ended the dormant farming/gardening DNA from my youth came alive again. This is probably the best season of life yet. As my dreams and visions expand, more and more satisfying life happens. Follow your dream. Sometimes it will be a rocky road and other times it will be a smooth road but always the end result is well worth the effort. Have a great sheep weekend passion filled day.

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