Land exists independently and owes nothing to anyone. A farm however doesn’t exist without a farmer. It is human will and creativity that bring into being the entity we call a farm. Here on the hill, it’s a different kind of farming. Worn out, logged, overgrazed ranch parcels went on sale in 1975 and my folks bought 20 acres for $8000. Steep, rocky with thick orange clay; not ideal farmland but we are eking out our niche. As a culture we’ve decided that housing developments are best suited for fertile farmland, meaning that as a people we must now seek out marginal lands for food production. Creating a productive, terraced garden is harder than growing on the flat. Every time you need something from the tool shed you have to hike back to the top of the hill. It builds good strength, and provides for the most spectacular vista imaginable.
I love living on the hill, especially now, watching the sky turn pink as the sun creeps towards visibility, brightening the Eastern horizon. It’s very still outside, just a hint of North wind, which we’ve been seeing lately. Usually the wind is out of the South/Southwest, hammering the wide open slope, battering the terraces. We use hoop-houses more for protection from the desiccating winds than for anything else, because it just isn’t that cold here, and we grow hardy crops. I heard on the radio yesterday that greenhouses, by definition, are heated. This means that we don’t actually have any greenhouses, only unheated cold-frame hoop-houses. I’m hoping this changes my permitting status with the county should they ever decide to pay me a visit regarding said structures.