As Jon and I approach our three year anniversary of landing in Nova Scotia, my brain naturally starts to reminisce about the journey that brought us here, and how far we've come since then. We landed in Nova Scotia on February 21, 2012 shortly after quitting our jobs in Calgary, selling nearly all of our belongings and loading up two bunnies, a banjo and a mountain bike in the remaining car. I had only been to Nova Scotia for a total of 2 days a couple of months prior, we had been dating for less than 6 months, and I know everyone thought we were crazy! I wasn't quite sure what to think myself.
Three years later and we are married and taking a real step towards running our own farm this year, renting certified organic land in Windermere and transitioning Jon into full-time farming at the end of April. After two solid years learning and growing at TapRoot Farms with Josh and Patricia, we are both moving on, though we remain grateful for the opportunity that brought us to the Annapolis Valley and made Nova Scotia really home for us. In September, I transitioned to Noggins Corner Farm, which was a fantastic move for me, going back to full-time Farmer's Markets-- my passion and the best use of my skill set.
We're slowly building towards our own enterprise, which is both exciting and frustrating at the same time. We'd love to be there already, but we are taking small and intentional steps towards our goal, ensuring that it will become a sustainable reality when we do get there. Tasks on our plate right now include buying a truck, sourcing inputs and growing equipment, organic certification application, chatting with Dave and Kim at Waxwing Farm about lease and land-use agreements, production and seeding schedules, time management schedules and harvest and delivery schedules, building washing tables and outfitting a cooler for the basement of our house, sourcing packaging and boxes, designing a logo and branding with our friend Sarah and having labels printed, picking up and confirming seed orders, business income tax for 2014 season, etc, etc etc. And the overarching theme of making sure that we are in top form for next season, as our health is of utmost importance as we embark on our own farming enterprise. (My digestive issues have been doing MUCH better, thanks to a few major life changes and some help from Chantal's Mom Deborah who is a naturopath and general health expert-- Next goal is to get some weight on Jon!).
Jon's friend Michael Hunt took this photo during a walk in the woods near his home in Thunder Bay when we were on our way to Nova Scotia on Feb. 13, 2012. I don't know that we look so much outwardly different, but when I look at these "naive kids" I can almost see the thoughts and goals and plans that were racing through my head at the time, and I also realize that not much has changed. I still have the desire to trust that others have my best interest in mind (though I have become less naive on that point over the past 3 years). I am still endlessly excited about farming with Jon and how that doesn't feel like a "job", just "getting up and doing stuff". I am more confident in our skills than I was then, and our future farm has taken more shape than it had then.
This photo was taken less than a week before I met Jon's friend Alyson Chisholm in New Brunswick, someone who I see as our biggest mentor and supporter and farming inspiration-- and what a richer life it is with her and Will and Windy Hill Farm in it! We were two individuals headed on a journey to a place where we knew virtually no one, and now we are part of a community and we have connections and friends and responsibilities and even a cat. :) And, the bunnies are still with us, hilariously moved across the country and vestiges of a former relationship where I got stuck with the "kids".
We're the same, but we are different, Jon and Teri Jenkins, still facing the world together as a team, and in doing so, there's nothing we can't get through.
We're grateful to all the wonderful folks who have been there to help along the way, and even to the difficult ones who helped us learn lessons. Life is different in Nova Scotia, and we can't wait to start a family and buy a farm and continue to grow our lives here. When we applied for the job that brought us here, the farm owner asked why we were planning to desert our lives in Calgary and move across the country together, and we (somewhat sheepishly, for we are not outwardly emotional people) answered, "to start our lives together". We have accomplished that, and look forward to continuing to grow and build our lives as we move on our path.
Happy Three Year Anniversary, Nova Scotia!
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