We are caretakers of the land, stewards, and temporary inhabitants in the grand scheme. What lasting impression will we leave? I wonder what this parcel will look like 50 years from now. We’ve been here for just over 30, and so many tremendous changes have occurred that some places are hardly recognizable. We’ve invested our lives in the infrastructure needed to survive off-grid in a highly arid environment. I wonder how my terraces will look in the future? Will they be as fertile and productive as they are today, or will they slip into the stream of the past, becoming vague shapes worked into the hillside in an earlier time?
Life is one long realization of decisions made, and it is incredible to see the cumulative effect of human will and desire. Farming here is a battle, and there are many forces arrayed against the farmer. Every species of critter in the vicinity is highly interested in the tender crops. Deer, quail, various rodents, caterpillars, bugs; all are voracious consumers of vegetables. The extreme heat in the summer, coupled with the windy chill in the winter on our exposed ridge-line makes this quite inhospitable country for farming. It is through sheer force of will, ingenuity, and use of newer technologies that we are able to do what we do. I’ve always loved a challenge, and this is the first thing in my life that I’ve genuinely been able to throw myself into as hard as I can. It can be totally frustrating and overwhelming at times, but it can also be the most incredibly exhilarating feeling. Walking around the terraces at the end of the day, the vibrant growth is a beacon, lighting the path forward. Farming is the route to happiness for me.