Meet the Farmette
People always want to know how I got started in farming and really they are wondering what makes a woman want to do this kind of work? Traditionally farming has been men's work, but women have always farmed really, we just called it gardening! I started out growing at the community garden on a small scale 20 years ago. Learning as I go has always been a unique challenge and mentors along the way have helped me learn non-traditional women's tasks like changing oil, maintaining the equipment, driving tractors, trailers and trucks and a lot of problem solving skills have been necessary when a task was needing someone bigger or stronger than myself. Leverage is key to being a farm operator and so is a fantastic grease gun!
As a hapless student in the 90's era, I recall taking one of those aptitude tests thinking I was going into the nursing field, or perhaps counseling. To my surprise, one of the recommendations came up as "farmer" which I promptly pooh poohed and said "who would want to do that for a living?" Years later after I had been farming for quite some time I was reminded of that day and decided it was fate to continue to pursue farming. Lucky for me, every day holds a new learning experience and I am truly blessed to be able to live the dream and watch the crops come to fruition year after year.
Truth is, women in farming have always been there, and the increase in farms run by women shows that a little ingenuity and a willingness to get dirty means we can do pretty much anything!