September 6, 2016

How To Become A Farmer

A couple of years ago, I had the slightest idea that I might want to be a farmer. If you know me, this shouldn't come as a surprise. I read books, listened to podcasts, attempted to start a container garden [on my small apartment balcony], pinned Pinterest photos, went to seminars, built a worm composting bin [again, in my small apartment], followed farmers on Instagram, even volunteered to milk goats at a local backyard farm. I had learned so much about growing food, without much hands-on experience doing so and without having truly lived the lifestyle.

I had been talking the talk, but not walking the walk. I wondered how it's possible for me to have this intense desire to be a farmer without knowing first-hand what it takes to be a farmer. So, I decided I had to find out.

I kept my eye out for a farming internship for probably close to a year, abandoning and revisiting my dream periodically, assuming and worrying it would be a "maybe one day" kind of thing that would probably fizzle out. Then one day, after going down an internet search rabbit hole, I found Spannocchia's website, and knew this was the place I wanted to be.

After applying for the internship program at the Tenuta di Spannocchia in Tuscany, Italy—for Fall 2015, I was turned away, so asked them to keep my application for Spring 2016, after which I was denied yet again. At this point, I lost hope and left it at "maybe one day;" however, it's often said that the third time's the charm, and this scenario was no different. In March of 2016, without having prompted them about my application again, I received an email from Spannocchia accepting me for the Summer 2016 season... And that's how I got my first taste of farm life during My Summer at Spannocchia.

Remember, sometimes you can plan and hope and imagine all you want, but the terrifying and wonderful part is that life tends to make its own plans without consulting you first.

More about my summer adventures to come...