Monday, September 27, 2010




There's a famous expression, and it goes like this: "The honeymoon's over." As we write this last entry, we are no longer WWOOFing Pattaps. We are just Pattaps now.

On our last day on the farm we harvested carrots, beets, tomatoes, chard, basil, leeks, and apples. It was a warm glorious fall day with a slight breeze and a crisp, clear blue sky. At the beginning of the trip, all we wanted to do was travel and learn how to grow food so one day we could plant our very own small vegetable garden. But after nine months on the road, and working at 20 farms, we are seriously struggling with how to take our next step. Giving up this life is going to be incredibly difficult and challenging, yet we realizing become farmers might not be our best next step. We don't have land, we don't have money, and starting a farm from the ground up is one awfully daunting task. Apprenticing on a farm for a year only makes sense if we are certain we want to one day become farmers.

It's easy to feel low after being so high for so long, and feel nervous about what the future holds. But two things provide us with immense hope. The first is our love for one another; after 9 months of spending 24 hours a day with each other, we'd either realize this marriage was a huge mistake, or the best decision of our lives. The answer is overwhelmingly clear that we shouldn't have tied to knot...oh wait, we mean, we should have. The other, is that we can say with 100% certainty, we have zero obligations. We can do anything we please. Any sense of uncertainty can be viewed in a positive light, one of having total freedom. We aren't tied down to a mortgage, or a job that we don't love. We aren't required to live one place or be somewhere we can't stand. We're confident it will all work out.

...and they lived happily ever after.



  1. I can't wait to see where your next adventure takes you. Your blog has been my good friend and I'm a vicarious woofer! Jeri

  2. I'm looking forward to your next blog: "Underpaid Corporate Automatons: Newlyweds abandon their dreams and grow accustomed to the minutiae of married life in the urban rat race"

    Was that too grim? I'm sorry.

    This is my favorite blog ever. I admire you both immensely for what you've accomplished in the past 9 months. Can't wait to read the next chapter in the Pattap saga!

  3. Yeeay, good luck you two! You'll figure it out, it's your only choice afterall!
    -Matt, Earth and Sky

  4. sometimes completing a chapter in life can be tougher than you anticipated, but with that challenge comes another ray of light. you two are so warm-hearted and dedicated people; life with roll out its red carpet for you in the right place and time. until then, keep smiling and reflecting :)

  5. Awesome! See you in Olympia soon! (you know, cause you're not tied down and can go anywhere you want and, well, who wouldn't want to come here:)

    Thanks for sharing all your adventures and mundanities. It's been fun [irregularly] reading and staying informed.

    I have several beans to pick by the way.

  6. I just got done reading your entire blog. I've never read a blog like that before, but WWOOF'ing makes for great stories. I want to go WWOOF'ing myself, but I'm tied to a farm of my own.

    Will you update the blogosphere and let us know what you're doing to continue with what you started by WWOOF'ing?

    I want to throw out some ideas for how a couple like you could proceed with farming:
    1. You could buy or rent a house with as big a garden space as you can comfortably afford -- that may mean locating further out or near a less hip city. You could find a dead-end non-farm job that wouldn't distract you from farming beyond the minimum, and concentrate your free time on first cutting your own living expenses, and then selling the extra with a concerted goal to replace your day job. (That's more or less my story.)
    2. You could apply for an "incubator farm" position.
    3. You could apprentice after all. I don't think you really have to be certain about the future. What happened to that spirit of not having to have every night's motel booked in advance? A longer stay on a farm could really help you to see an independent way forward.
    4. You could find a sustainable agriculture program that would help you develop a business plan, connect you with resources/help you extensively network in an area, teach you farming more systematically, etc. like Central Carolina Community College's sustainable agriculture program.

    That's only a few ideas, but if you don't continue somehow with farming, how else are you going to be true to the principles you've deepened your understanding of by WWOOF'ing? America is so badly in need of so many more good farmers, especially ones with a commitment to principles and the storytelling abilities to sell the value of their principles.

  7. What a shame you never left the California coast and entered the prime agricultural areas of California in both the Sacramento and San Joaquin growing areas. When you were in Upper Lake you were less than an hour's drive from successful organic farms, real farms, not one acre homesteads. You also missed a gem in the UC Davis ag school and viticulture programs.

    Another time, perhaps.

    In writing your book, I hope you will do rigorous research into the various stories/claims made by some of your more interesting hosts before repeating them as gospel. :)

    Out of curiousity, did Aaron know of Adam from the time they both spent at Syracuse?

  8. In any case, what a wonderfully brave and intersting thing to spend nearly a year doing. Bravo!