Farmer Di

Farmer Di

The Clueless Farmer

By Farmer Di

I grew up in a family where work meant something you do in an office. Or in front of a room full of people. It definitely wasn’t something that took place outdoors or involved tools that didn’t fit neatly in desk drawers. In my 20+ years of post-graduate professional life, I’ve been a teacher, a counselor, a journalist, an editor and a public relations professional in California, Egypt and Virginia. And always wished I could be a farmer. You know, the idyllic kind that exists on pictures on dairy products: Rolling hills, red barns, neat rows of flowering peas, and happy, peaceful, cud-chewing animals. Farmers do useful stuff, like grow food. And they know how to fix stuff – inanimate and animate stuff. And they get to wear overalls.

Newly wed and settled in rural Maryland, I convinced an organic farmer to let me work on his farm. The fun began.

Here’s where I worked on lessening my cluelessness about all things farming. And learned to kill chickens. 

I had no idea at the time what an enormous blessing it was to have landed on a DIVERSIFIED organic farm, with cattle, pigs, sheep, chickens, perennial and annual crops. Succession planting, crop and bed rotation, controlled grazing, woodland management. It seemed so obvious that I didn’t realize it wasn’t the norm. They have a CSA, for you locals around Salisbury, MD.

It was so much fun, my husband wanted to join me. Now, with six months’ worth of “experience” between us, we’re both full-time, Cold Turkey farmers in Central Virginia! Our core business is free-range, pastured broiler chickens, and we’re burgeoning organic vegetable and small fruit growers as well. Visit us at our new farm in Madison County: Glean Acres!