I dreamt my teeth were falling off! This was a first. I was stressed though and perhaps that was the reason. After all, I was packing my bags and moving to a farm. Me! Let me back track a little. 4 years ago, I started a farm. Not as a hobby, but as a functioning farm that could earn me an income. I must say I haven’t earned a single cent from this venture yet, but I do see the potential, hence the risk to relocate from sunny cosmopolitan Nairobi, to…well, to the farm.
Over the past four years I have learnt a lot. I have learnt how to plant a nursery and tend vegetables to maturity. I have learnt that animals on a farm die in the most spectacular and disturbing way. I have learnt that patience is the corner stone of a farmers character. I have learnt to push through and stay the course even when there is nothing that says i will ever succeed. Yet, here I am.
When I mentioned to my dear cousin my plans to go rural, she suggested I write a blog. Something to share my experiences, and probably a great source of amusement for her at my expense. The manicured farmer was born!
The very epitome of patience and resilience is a farmer. The first 2 days of my stay at the farm went pretty well. Then again, what could possibly go wrong over a weekend? I settled in, made myself cozy and comfortable, set out a workspace for myself and made sure all was spick and span, ready for Monday. The solar power was holding up quite well and so was the newly installed incubator. I was eagerly waiting for my 64 chicks to hatch! And then the life of farming set in. Solar power operates on the premise that there is indeed sunlight to power the panels that charge the batteries. Monday was overcast. Surely, how is it that a day is overcast in the middle of the dry season in semi arid Kenya? Expected temperatures for this time of the year are on average 35 degrees C with zero to minimal cloud cover. By the second day, the power had started failing. So I turned off the incubator to preserve power for my laptop and to charge the phones. By the third day, I was seriously considering a trip back to the city. Instead, I decided to get the power sorted out by installing more capacity to generate power out of the measly sunlight we were receiving.
The week went by with the usual farm activities going on – runaway chickens, fighting dogs, truant cows. We even had a puff adder visit us which sent the birds into a frenzy of chirping and branch hopping. Nothing died though! I am learning to listen to nature. Even the silence has something to say. Just listen!
The power capacity was upgraded over the weekend, but I worry that the incubating chicks may have turned into 3 eyed monsters! I wait to see what will hatch in 19 days time. Patience, perseverance and listening! That’s what 7 days of farm life have taught me.