I have had this post running through my head for several weeks now, and figured I should get it written down before long. It is funny how the little decisions you make along your life path can lead you to a totally unexpected place. When I was growing up, my great grandmother, Omi, used to grow her own veggies, make her own sausage, medicines, and liquor. She was born of the Volga Germans, and brought her daughter and grandchildren to this country in he 1950's. She was one tough lady (and quite crazy), but she lived a remarkable life. I wish she were alive today, because she would have been such a tremendous source of knowledge! Sadly, she died when I was in my 20's, before I was fully on this path of being self-sufficient. But I will always carry the memory of sitting in her kitchen, smelling her fabulous foods, eating her amazing desserts, and drinking her very potent cough syrups as long as I live. She planted a seed, which eventually terminated into where and what I am today.
When I was in middle and high school, there was a boy nicknamed "Farmer Brown." He was a small fellow then, quiet and pretty unassuming. Yet he had a passion for growing things. We were never really friends, but were among the same group of kids who had gone to school together since elementary school, so we knew each other well enough. I remember he once came to my house (I think he had a crush on me at the time, but I could always be wrong), and he gave me a gift of some of the peanuts he had grown. It seemed so surreal at the time, this boy farmer living in the middle of suburban Florida, with a penchant for growing crops in high school. Oh well, he is probably a corporate attorney or accountant by now. But I wanted to say thank you, Farmer Brown, for your peanuts and your strangeness way back then. I'm not sure it influenced this path I am on, but you were on my mind as part of a greater strangeness as to how one decision or piece of information can lead you on a different path than our ever expected. I really want my own farm and homestead in the woods. And I'm sorry for any teasing I did towards you. Apparently the gods have a sense of humor.