When you’re with yourself every step of the way, it’s difficult to gauge how far you’ve come. Sometimes it takes some outside perspective to highlight the trail you’ve bushwacked to get to where you are. Sometimes, it takes a student tour to put it into perspective.
I’ve never turned down a farm tour and perhaps, this is why. We can tend to forget how ignorant we were when we jumped into this whole farming thing (some of you have been with us since then and can attest to this!), and how much we have learned since then. I remember looking at pictures of the farm from circa 2012 on my mother’s laptop and being horrified. “We’ve got to update those!” I cried, “it looks so much better now!”
Looks aren’t everything, to be sure. And we are still not a weed-free farm. But we’ve learned to manage weeds at critical times and let them go at less important times when our labor is better spent elsewhere. In fact, we’ve learned to manage.
And so, as I’m walking around talking to the App-State Ecological pest management class, I find myself not only explaining our current pest management techniques, but our evolution—our learning process in developing those techniques, and suddenly it’s like I’m standing outside myself looking at the path we’ve bushwhacked to get to where we are. It’s a rare treat to look at your own path like this—a little injection of pride that you survived your own ignorance and used lessons learned to improve.
We’re still on that path. Still making mistakes and learning from them. And looking forward, we’ve got a long way to go (I know, there is no end to the path of learning, no actual destination). But sometimes, it’s encouraging to look back at the past, cringe, and be proud that you made it this far. Sometimes, it’s good to host a student tour.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.