I’m a Farmer Now

After living the first 36 years of my life not farming, I’m trying something new.

I’m a Farmer Now
Photo by Zoe Schaeffer / Unsplash

When my wife and I purchased our house nine years ago, the backyard was an unexplored jungle. The weeds were four feet tall and so thick we weren’t 100% sure how deep the yard went. I called a landscaper friend and he spent four hours and filled a dump trailer with the remains of our backyard.

Five years later and we saved up some money and were ready to turn the yard into something enjoyable. Then our 30-year-old air conditioning unit crapped out. The backyard went back on the back burner (three “back”’s in one sentence seems like a lot. but I’ll allow it).

Fast forward three more years and replace “air conditioning unit” with “bathroom pipes” and again with “roof” and here we are.

You’re probably thinking, “cool, but what does this have to do with farming?” I get that, but hold on, the build-up is important.

A few months ago my wife and I got in contact with a local non-profit focusing on sustainable and edible landscaping. They came out and did a site evaluation and created a plan for our backyard surrounding Florida-natural, edible plants.

On Halloween, our disaster of a yard turned into a full-on food farm. We’ve got avocado and papaya and passion fruit and dragon fruit and sweet potato and loquat and peppers and tomatoes and hibiscus and blueberries and oregano and more things I can’t remember.

Now that all the plants are in the ground, it’s up to my wife and me to ensure they stay alive. So, I’m a farmer now. I water and weed and say, “the plants are enjoying the rain” when it rains. I haven’t talked to the plants, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.

In 120+ days, when everything produces fruits and vegetables, I’ll harvest and share the bounty. I need to research how to make sauces and pepper jellies and all the things I can do with the things growing on the farm.

This is my life now. Farming. Planting. Getting my hands dirty.

Ok, so not that dirty. It’s pretty easy work right now. I’ve only watered everything once since they planted thanks to regular rainfall. But, you know, being a farmer sounds cool so I’m going with it.

A version of this article also appeared on Medium.