I am a self-proclaimed hermit, recluse, and extreme introvert. One dream that always brings me the best kind of joy is winning the lottery, buying a ton of land and a small cabin in any mountain range, and living my best off the grid life for as long as the wilderness will have me. I still have high hopes for that dream, but now it includes a farm and less hermit-like tendencies.
For those who know me, this is a pretty common introduction: I come from a huge family. My mother is one of 14 kids who all average about 2-3 kids among them and my father is one of 3 boys who at minimum have 4 kids each, and this of course doesn’t count Latinx culture on both sides of the family where second and third cousins are just as important and prominent in my life. That’s a lot of grown-ups, a lot of kids, and generational differences galore. It may partially explain my introversion! Part of a big family group means you learn to be part of the social processes and my favorite part whether anyone believes me or not is providing the food. My mother instilled a deep love of service, especially through food. I loved helping my mom organize who was bringing what dish to the family reunions before she passed the mantle on to some of my elder cousins; hosting and taking care of folks when they come to my mom’s for lunches or dinners that she plans; and helping her set up her vegetable gardens in the backyard when she had to switch to a vegetarian diet for her health. Food, to me, is a big part of family life, community life, not just because it is a basic need, but also how it brings people together for delightfully short periods of time before everyone goes back to their lives until the next get together.
Being outdoors is another passion of mine, and one I am probably most known for besides my slight obsession with reading. Climbing trees, going to parks, going on hiking expeditions from a young age grew to solo hikes, organizing camping trips in college with friends, and using the outdoors as a way to bond with my social groups. There is nothing, in my opinion, more healing than nature. It is my church, my temple, my ultimate religious experience. I can wax spiritual poetic on the natural world all day, every day.
Visiting farms in the Maryland area where I live, as well as family farms in the Dominican Republic when I visit with my mother, gives me a sense of peace I only ever feel when I’m outdoors. Who wouldn’t want to feel that way all the time? So the thought hit me in the simplest, and still most complicated way: I want to start a farm. More importantly, I don’t want to wait for the lottery or retirement or any ridiculous milestone most people wait for to make huge changes in their lives. I’m taking the next year to save up and build my credit, finding a good few acres of land near a river if possible, and ordering a ready-made home. I outlined how I’m going to start growing my farm thanks to interviews with farmers in and out of family that I met with over the last six months. This blog will probably feature more outdoor living/farm life information as I do more research and get closer to that specific goal. I’ll be curious to the changes in my writing and poetry while I go on this journey, and the folks I’ll continue to meet on the way. I hope you lovely readers will join me for the ride!
Oh, did I mention this farm will be in Puerto Rico? More to come! Ta ta for now!