If you’re like me, you make plans. Plans for today, tomorrow and the future. You even make plans to make plans! I have made many plans throughout my short life, but I cannot think of one that actually came out the way that I had envisioned it. Yet, this life is much more fulfilling than my so-called “plans” ever were. And I know, I just know that each time I make a plan, God is up there, amused and shaking His head thinking, “Niki…Niki…Niki, what am I going to do with you?” I tend to ask myself the same question from time to time:)
I know there is one thing that we can all agree on. That life, with God, is an adventure.
Our current “living simplified” adventure didn’t start with the concept of a trailer. I realize that Silvia is the star of this blog, but it didn’t begin with her; it actually started with food. Yep. Food. Travis and I were tired of working hard – paying the mortgage – car payments – insurance payments – and the heavy price tag of buying organic food. Let me put it this way. If I have a choice between a chicken that lived in an enclosed barn, along with 30,000 other birds, eating GMO soybeans and corn, growing to its full size within weeks, with limited access outside for $9.99 OR a chicken that lived a life in nature, developing naturally, free roaming, eating bugs and vegetation for $19.99 – I’m going to choose the $20 bird. For me, it’s simple. For our budget, it’s painful. I have a feeling you know what I’m talking about.
I started to dream about what the Garden of Eden looked like. What God’s creation was like before man got his hands on it. Wondering the origin of vegetables and how they have evolved over time. What it really came down to, was this desire to eat the food that God designed for us and not food designed by man. Simply put, God created food that benefits our bodies, cleanses our bodies, restores and heals our bodies. I cannot say the same for the food that is produced on a conveyor belt or altered on a petri dish. You will never find better food than the ones grown from the earth.
Organic food was one thing – but the treatment of food was what really mattered to me. Being an animal lover, I was convinced that animals weren’t treated too bad. However, when you aren’t aware of certain practices used in the meat industry, it is easy to think that it couldn’t be worse than the beliefs you conjure up. I knew people could be cruel. I knew animals were considered, by most, to be nothing more than a paycheck. And the means they went through to obtain it could be cruel. Never did I think or want to think that it was as bad as it is. It’s been years since I have watched footage of what has taken place within a meat factory, and I am still unable to forget what I have seen.
My attempt to stand up against this type of business may seem insignificant to most. Not everyone has this conviction. For me, as a professing Christian, to know that many animals are treated & killed inhumanly, and yet I continue to buy the $10 bird – I consider myself worse off then the very people I am angry with. I choose to pay for the $20 bird because I would rather pay more to the people doing it right – then to save a little to pay the people doing it wrong. The right choices, more often than not, are the costly ones.
This heaviness on our conscious led us desiring our own farm. To have a place where we grew crops the way God intended and, more importantly, to care for the animals the way He intended them to be treated. Only problem was, we had no experience in farming of any kind! So we began the process of looking for schools and we found one. Travis enrolled in a 6 month long FarmsNext program through Rogue Farm Corps in Oregon. He is interning with two farms, Wild Roots Farm & Full Cellar Farm, out of Gresham, OR.
| Travis walking alongside garlic at Full Cellar Farm |
| Travis transplanting winter squash for Wild Roots Farm |
| Brian – Owner of Wild Roots Farm |
| Emily – Owner of Full Cellar Farm |
And then, there’s me. Wanting to be involved in the program as well, it was hard on me to not have the same opportunity as Travis. I did apply for jobs around the Portland area, but nothing came of them. Until one day, Rick of Abundant Fields Farm asked Emily if she knew of anyone that would like to help him. And she did…me. God had me placed on a farm only an acre from Travis. Pretty cool.
| Me transplanting winter crops |
| Rick – Owner of Abundant Fields Farm and me prepping beds |
This is the heart of the matter for us. Although Silvia (our trailer) is an adventure in herself, she is simply the vessel for our family to live in while we save money to later on purchase our own land to grow our own food and care for our own animals. Living simplified goes far beyond your living circumstances.
Travis and I only have a few more months left of our farm seasons and we have no idea what is next for our family. What we do know is God does and whatever it is that He has planned, I know it will be great!
Less is more,