I have spent the better part of 5 days a week over the last 5 years toiling on the land at RavenRidge Family Farm.
That’s right: I said toiling.
Now, I don't want to give the impression that farming doesn't bring its fair share of pleasure, but make no mistake ... farming is hard.
Building a successful business is hard.
Heck, just doing things the "right way" rather than the "easy way" is ... really hard.
So what makes it all worthwhile, you may ask? For me, the answers came in the form of my wife and partner Cynthia, and then my son William, although it has taken me the better part of these past four years to appreciate it.
I've been fortunate enough to have lived several lives in my four-plus decades on this planet. Most recently, I have adopted this role of caretaker to the RavenRidge land, but immediately before that I was a handyman, then a cell tower repairman. Before that an herbalist and student of permaculture. Prior to that I was a web developer and before that still, a student of Avian and Plant biology.
My point is this: we are all something, and we all have the opportunity to try to be something even better, tomorrow.
I have a strange affinity for plants. I would not call it a green thumb, exactly. I have killed a full third as many hemp plants as I have grown out successfully.
But there is something there … a primal sort of calling. I can feel it right now, even as I write this.
We were born into the forests, and I feel certain that on some deep level we all long to return to them.
Speaking of useful plants, hemp certainly is an interesting one: it casually provides superfood, fiber, fodder and medicine, while asking relatively little of the land in return. Yet hemp has become, as all things do in America, a fad.
Folks are growing it labelled good for the land while tilling and hilling bare, exposed soil. Planting more plants per acre and leaving less residue behind. It is a travesty.
If I've learned one thing about hemp over these three long years, it's this: hemp in and of itself is not humanity’s salvation, but the way we choose to grow hemp, could be.
Back on Track
Here's what I think folks, and I'll keep it simple:
William, my son, just like all of the other sons and daughters out there, deserves to grow up into a world of promise and opportunity.
They deserve to inherit a world every bit as vibrant and glorious as is the world of today, but it is going to take significant change to make that a reality.
That kind of change is what I am all about.