We figured an introduction was overdue, since I've been lurking around these parts since last fall! Here is a warm hello, and a bit about who I am.
I grew up on a farm near a small community in northern Alberta and had the privilege of watching my Mom and Dad build a straw-bale home on an off-grid farm at a time when it wasn’t a sexy, green thing to do. In fact, I’m fairly sure they were deflecting small-town rumours of their own insanity in between futile attempts at insuring their new home. ‘’No, we are not living under a mound of straw with the three little pigs... sigh.’’ My relationship with farms and farming has evolved from being a dirt-covered farm kid, farm slave (just kidding Mom and Dad, I now understand those tireless hours of picking field rocks were building “character”), and now, a farmer.
Like so many other born-and-raised farm kids, I felt the pervasive cultural push to leave the farm in search of those mystical greener pastures that were bound to appear with continuing education and life in a city. For some, they do appear. For me, while I was out globe trotting, attending university, and desperately trying to answer the daunting question of what I wanted to be when I grew up, my greener pastures were cleverly disguised as actual green pastures just outside my door, and they patiently waited for me to come back to them.
With the guidance of many kind and thoughtful people, I was able to reframe that consuming question, instead asking, How do I want to be? How do I want my life energy to contribute to the creative revolutions and solutions needed to address the mounting pile of global atrocities, simply but profoundly caused by our collective sense of disconnectedness?
I believe farmers everywhere are being called to engage our communities on a much deeper level; to lead the way in establishing local and regional food security and resilience; to restore and regenerate our landscapes; and to revolutionize our relationship with the Earth and how we tell our own human story. We are not silent as farmers; our choices in how we manage our landscapes, how we grow and sustain life on our farms, and how we engage our communities are all deeply political, social, economic, and ecological acts.
My hope, and commitment, is to offer a kinder, slower, and more connected way of living and to bring great love to the small acts of growing and tending life on the farm. In a nutshell, that is why I am here! Plus, I fell in love with a really handsome farmer ;)
Here's to a happy and healthy season,
Takota Coen is a farmer, carpenter, educator and ecological consultant.