I have a few heroes in this world – Anne Lamott, my dad, Wendell Berry, and Jenna Woginrich. Of these people, Jenna inspires me most because she lives the life I have dreamed of building here.
She’s a woman farmer. And I think woman farmers rock. In fact, I think any farmer who is not the expected white male especially rocks (although I think the white male farmers are pretty awesome, too).
But the reason I love woman farmers in particular is that we have to overcome a lot of things that men don’t battle. We battle biased expectations;we learn to work with physicality that does not always include a great deal of upper body strength; we often balance the responsibilities of pregnancy and nursing. And we rock it.
This morning, I came across this amazing website for the female farmer project by Audra Mulkern, and I was blown away by the photos and the stories of these female farmers. Their courage, their strength, the diversity in how and what they choose to farm. But mostly, I was awed by the rugged beauty of these people, not just their physical beauty but the way that joy shines through their skin like their blood is made of sunshine.
And I also liked their awesome hats.
I look at those women, and I see who I want to be – strong, courageous, purposeful, faithful, determined, powerful. I see my calling lived out in their own lives.
This place – this 10 acres – is a place of faith. For me, faith in a God who loves more deeply than I can imagine, but for – we hope – everyone, a place where faith is encouraged, where dreams are nurtured, where we mirror back to you who you most want to be and walk beside you as you move toward that dream.
The women in the female farmer project remind me that expectations and trajectories are things that can be changed. That the thing that sparks your soul is the thing you should live into everything. That this work for farming is blessed and bountiful. . . for the body and the spirit.
What would you do today if you feared nothing?