On Top of the World

On Top of the World

#diaryofafarmvirgin

Returning Generation Farmer
On Top of the World
COMMENTS

Ladakh

I’m thrilled to share an extraordinary adventure that I recently embarked on, a bit different from our usual farm content but just as exciting! I had the honor of being part of an eight-person cohort on a study tour to Ladakh, organized by the Modern Tibetan Studies Program at Columbia University. This special trip took us to Ladakh, India, where we immersed ourselves in local culture, sustainability practices, and so much more.

During this epic 14-day journey, we experienced breathtaking views, heart-rending conversations, and incredible hospitality. The trip focused on local pastoralism, fiber arts, cultural preservation, and sustainability. We visited refugee settlements, eco-lodges, schools, universities, museums, and handicraft enterprises, engaging with Tibetan and Ladakhi groups dedicated to preserving their rich heritage and promoting rural green business.

We had the pleasure of meeting renowned filmmaker Stanzin Dorjai, creator of the award-winning documentary “Shepherdess of the Glaciers.” This film offers an intimate portrayal of a shepherdess in India’s High Himalayas, showcasing her life tending a herd of cashmere goats. Mr. Dorjai invited us to his family’s village in Gya, giving us a firsthand glimpse into their sustainable way of life, pastoral traditions, and the challenges they face in the modern world.

I can’t wait to share more stories, lessons, and inspirations from this once-in-a-lifetime journey. Stay tuned for future blog and social posts about our adventures and the incredible people we met along the way!

Steward . Cultivator . Shepherdess

Join me on my peri-urban farming journey as I rediscover forgotten connections to the land and each other, all while exploring and chronicling the intersections of Black Agrarian Arts and lifeways.

Accidental Farmers

Accidental Farmers

#diaryofafarmvirgin

Returning Generation Farmer
Accidental Farmers
COMMENTS

Welcome

I’m happy to have you join along on the journey. This blog has been a long time in the making, and I’m thrilled to have you here as I dive into the adventures of family farming, fiber and natural dye producion, fiber arts, and everything in between. I’m excited to share our experiences as farmers, storytellers, and keepers of this rich agrarian legacy. Join me as I reconnect with forgotten roots and stitch together my own swatch of beloved community.

Going back to get it

Heeding the call

We’re accidental farmers, finding our way back to the land after generations that shifted into cities and suburbs. In the beginning, we raised chickens, ducks, and hogs, grew market vegetables and herbs, and cared for dairy goats. Over time, we’ve followed our passion for producing fiber and meat from heritage breeds of chickens, rabbits, and sheep, while also enjoying the process of creating seasonal value-added products. The old skills and stories of rural living were nearly lost to us, they’d merely become topics during holiday dinner conversations. It wasn’t until we’d spent some time on the land that we felt the call to farm and serve. Stepping into farming, we’ve joined a beautiful network of Black agrarian farmers and artists, embarking on a journey to steward and cultivate not just the land but our family and community. The farm has become our home—a restorative space for family and guests alike. High Hog is where we grow together, forming new relationships with the soil, plants, and animals and where we tend the roots we’ve planted to help us weather life’s storms.

Becoming a Farm Virgin

Promise and Purpose

I’d better start by explaining what I mean when I refer to myself as a Farm Virgin, so we’re all starting off on the same page. I first created the hashtag #DiaryofaFarmVirgin nearly a decade ago, it was a tongue-n-cheek poke at our new (city slicker style) farming chronicles. It was part social media archive, part memoir and loaded with humor. Now, the idea of still being a Farm Virgin reflects this original intent but has come to take on an even richer meaning. It  transcends mere inexperience or beginning farmer status. The essence of the idea is a reminder that we are always capable of dreaming and learning something new. It means humbly embracing my journey in reconnecting my family to the land, acknowledging a willingness to learn, unlearn, and relearn—often repeatedly. It’s not about lacking knowledge or skill; but rather embracing the transitions deeper into both. For me virginity speaks more to promise than purity, so I imagine myself holding untapped potential for unimagined possibilities, ones that in due season, I will be able to uncover. It isn’t simply being green or starting from scratch; it’s about honoring the legacy of my family whose toil made it possible for me to become a conduit for those who will come afterward. It’s tending  tender seeds planted long ago, planting hope—a commitment to nurture and be nurtured.

Ancestral echoes

Reverberations

Rooted in the legacies of those who’ve come before, we recognize that the soil holds both lessons and stories—the blood, sweat, tears, and whispered secrets of generations past. Virginity carries a kind of cultural weight—a transition from innocence to experience. Being a “Farm Virgin” is akin to receiving an ancestral blessing. Our ancestors, unseen but felt, nod approvingly as we embrace their lifeways. We’re initiated into a lineage of resilience.

When you find yourself reconnecting with the land, you can begin to hear ancestral echoes in the soil—echoes of laughter, struggle, and resilience. Next, comes a joy in discovering that somehow you’re a part of this timeless continuum. As returning generation farmers, we have become more than stewards of soil; we are, in fact SeedKeepers—guardians of this ancestral wisdom and cultural resilience.

I choose to look for the Divine and extraordinary, right alongside the sweet, and common when working on the farm. I find a lot of joy and wonder in both the ‘hard’ and the simplicity that farm living provides. Part of my decisions to work with animals includes an intentional focus on raising heritage livestock breeds, ones that were traditionally raised for generations. Many of these once-common breeds are now threatened and endangered. They, like so much of the lifeways we are seeking to preserve, represent an irreplaceable piece of  culture and diversity.

Thank you for joining us on this journey. As we share the stories, lessons, and adventures of our farm life, I hope you’ll find inspiration, joy, and a sense of connection. Together, we’ll explore the rich tapestry of our Black Agrarian heritage and embrace the promise of new beginnings. Welcome to the #DiaryofaFarmVirgin community—I’m excited to see where this journey takes us!

#DiaryofaFarmVirgin

Steward . Cultivator . Shepherdess

Join me on my peri-urban farming journey as I rediscover forgotten connections to the land and each other, all while exploring and chronicling the intersections of Black Agrarian Arts and lifeways.

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