I won't deny the escapism. I've sunk into the nerdy mechanics of daydream. Sometimes, it was about sketching the economics of a small-scale sheep operation, or reviewing the seasonal efforts one takes to improve the yield and quality of hay. Or perhaps a rethinking of opinion on the topic of chickens, or plotting how one might parlay an orchard of apple-trees into a living. The Farm. Sigh.
It's as harmless as any daydream, I suppose. Some people play Farmville.
The landscape of the North Country is all about farming -- at least it is to me. Whenever I visit my 4-H, Jefferson County Dairy Princess, General Brown Day, Shore Dinner roots, I have the impulse to locate The Farm within that real geography. Especially given how at every turn there's an example of the de-evolution of a family farm.
And so many of them for sale.
Choices have been made. I moved away and left the farm.
Still and all, gap or no gap, snow or no snow, I signed up for a distance-learning class this fall.
Ironically enough, it's an offering from Cornell, "Beginning Farming 101." The New York State Cooperative Extension and Cornell's Small Farm Program bill the class as "Creating a Farm to Match your Values, Goals, Skills, and Resources."
It starts on Monday.