The first woman who ever got me interested in farming is Barb Kline. She was the farmer who cared for the last zoned agricultural land in the City of Pittsburgh, right in Stanton Heights, right in my backyard. In fact, we bought our house specifically because it bordered this farm. How idyllic – especially after the hustle of New York City where we moved from. And it was indeed a joy to see lush acres when I looked out my window.
While I have volunteered here and there at the farm, helping with their CSA, with newsletters and marketing, one summer I decided to truly work with the land, committing 5 hours of every week during the season. Seems little but boy, was that an eye-opening experience. Farm work, especially with the of-the-moment growth of urban farms, young farmers and the series, Farm Kings (oy!) has become romanticized. But what that summer made me realize was the immense RESPECT that farmers deserve. IT IS NOT EASY TO FARM. Especially if you do it in a responsible, sustainable way.