From those first evenings spent studying together in Mann library to early mornings dreaming up farm plans over egg sandwiches and coffee, Chris and I have always been dreamers. The farm that we dreamed in our head those first years together living in a tiny room and then apartment was a mix of well loved and modern. The farm we dreamed had a hay mow, but also a milking parlor. The cows we dreamed went out to pasture everyday, but also ate a carefully balanced diet. The equipment we dreamed was all old with no electronics, but it never broke down. The farm we dreamed was an impossible vision, but it has provided the framework within which we move forward and make decisions.
A CSA member stopped in on Sunday to pick up her share of vegetables and she visited with me in the milk house. Our conversation made me pause, made me think about all the progress we have made -- how out of bare ground we have built our farm. We have the parlor. It may not be a fancy parlor, but it gets our cows milks comfortably and efficiently. We have the pasture and the well balanced diet, as our milk cows go outside only during the cool of evening when the heat won't stress them and receive a balanced diet during the day in the barn. Our equipment is old, less by choice than necessity, but we are slowly upgrading. We have built our farm within the broad framework of those dreams.
While we still have a few projects that we would like to complete, we no longer face endless months of pouring concrete or weeks and weeks of reclaiming fallow land. Now is the time to turn our attention to the details, to pour our efforts into growing our healthy and happy heifers a little bit more quickly, to identify ways we can be more efficient, to consistently raise the lowest stave in the barrel. We have built the outlines of our dream, but now we must tend to the details.