Monday, September 8, 2008

Failte! Welcome to the Tir na nOg Farm blog!

Strange it is for a Luddite like myself to go a-blogging, but here we are, and here we go!

Like many women farmers, we are "undercapitalized." We are careful to manage our debts and strenuously avoid taking on any more. We own few pieces of farm equipment other than a gloriously inadequate assortment of hand tools. Our lack of a tractor, in particular, provokes much eye-rolling and head-scratching from the non-female farmers hereabouts. (Admittedly, it provokes some occasional hand-wringing from us, too, but we delight in the related lack of payment books and fuel bills!) Without a tractor, we are forced to use other tools: the telephone, our wits, and our computer. These tools allow us to banter & barter for the services of others in our local agricultural economy.

Poverty and isolation have always dogged those who choose the farming life. Celts have always struggled to balance a love for the land with a hunger for exploration and innovation. We look forward to flexing some new "connective tissues" as we test this particular tool. A computer may not be able to harrow a field, but it can help us plow through possibilities. A blog may not scatter or secure a crop's worth of seeds, but it may scatter a few useful ideas and help them grow... (I hear it's pretty effective as a manure-spreader, too.)

The original Luddites did not reject technology altogether. Rather, they resisted those technologies which would harm, rather than contribute to, a healthy & well-lived life. Now, I'm not sure how the "carbon footprints" of computers and tractors compare. I'm also not sure we'd resist the purchase of a tractor if an affordable, easy-to-maintain model showed up. In the meantime, the computer is the one piece of serious farm equipment we have, so we aim to use it as best we can.

With that, my friends, we welcome you to Tir na nOg Farm and our farm blog. Bear with us! Enjoy the adventure along with us and all our lovely Celtic creatures. Watch for pictures and see how the farm takes shape, the gardens expand, and the animals grow. Step out into the field and dig your own roots alongside us as we explore Celtic cultures, traditions, and ideas. You never know what might turnip...

P.S. Our Scottish Highland cattle would have preferred a presence on MooTube, but they found videography didn't really behoove them.

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