What is it that drives some people to grow things, create things? After all these years, I still haven’t decided if it’s hardwired into our species to grow and hunt for our food, or if it’s just a pleasant past time that we indulge in.
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a farmer – just like my mom, even though her tales of her parents’ farming experience in Saskatchewan during the Depression should have been more than enough to deter me.
As she would be the first to tell you, though, her daughter is stubborn as a mule.
And she did sort of encourage me with the huge backyard garden she and my father kept year after year.
Even as an adult, while I was deciding which post secondary school to attend, I wanted to keep goats and bees and grow herbs and… that piglet on the brochure from the Ontario Agricultural College in Guelph made me decide – to years of university and two years learning to be a farmer.
Except, by the time two years at university were up, my parents had finally convinced me to finish my – mostly worthless as far as finding a job – degree before starting a new school.
After that was done, I decided to visit a couple on the east coast that I was corresponding with. They were a back to nature couple living on an island off the western tip of Nova Scotia.
Except they turned out to be not quite so open to visitors I started making plans to go. Well, I went anyway. And since I had to wait in Halifax for two days for my bicycle to arrive (even though we left Windsor on the train at the same time), I ended up living in Halifax for a time.
Funny how plans change. It’s nice when the change is easy; not so nice when it’s unpleasant and unwanted.
But my urge to grow things hasn’t changed. I’ve lived in rooming houses and apartments with as little as a bedside table to grow crops on, but I’ve tried. They never last for long. Especially not with cats around.
The only difference is, I don’t see myself as a goatherder these days. Catherder, maybe.
Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal