Monday, 1 February 2016

The Next Chapter

It’s been a long time since I’ve written, I guess you could blame it on a number of things. Juggling lots of things with my time, getting ready to transition, and the fact that I don’t always know what to write from or about. Anyhow, I expect to be writing more in the coming months, as I’ll have more time to myself and missing my family often increases my writing about my life to or for them to read.

I am moving to Chattanooga in March, the 15th to be exact. I don’t have a lot of concrete things I’ll be doing, except that I’m going to help start a garden CSA with my cousin Jether. 

There are lots of other things I want to do or I am thinking about, but just how many of those other things I do will depend on my determination and what I prioritize. I’ve fantasized about starting an artisan bakery because I’m very much into artisan bread right now. I’ve always been fascinated by bread making, and have been doing it for years off and on, but it wasn’t until I got some bread making supplies for my brother as a birthday gift that things started to change. He picked up the book Flour Water Salt Yeast, by Ken Forkish which is undoubtedly the best book I’ve read for home baking artisan breads. Simple, yet basic and traditional ingredients to create rustic loaves that taste wonderful and look beautiful. I’ve gone through most of his breads in the book and have a pretty good knowledge of baking, and I’ve already had years of experience working in a kitchen. So, I fantasize about starting a bakery in Chattanooga, but they already have a good artisan bakery and it’s hard to say if I could compete.

I still plan to roast coffee; offering it in our CSA. Once again, I’d love to start a coffee shop in Chattanooga, but they’ve got several great roasters and the completion could be tough. Having something to set yourself apart would be essential. Sometimes I just have to remind myself I’m only 22 years old, and most people don’t start a business until much later in life. I’ve still got time.

I’m pretty excited to be farming and can’t wait to see where it will take us. I can’t wait to be a living example to people of how great permaculture design and growing really is. To build a system where you’re not losing anything to waste. A garden that can feed 50 people a year and not use a tractor. There is so much to explore and I can’t wait to get started. I’m not looking forward to the business side of things. I’m a bit of entrepreneur, as if you needed me to say that by now, so there is a side that loves starting a business, but I’m also one who doesn’t like spending hours on a computer. I want to be out feeding chickens, planning a garden, or planting beans. I am labeled the Business Manager this year, and while we don’t have a lot of shares, I’ll be keeping track of money and figuring out everything that goes into a business. 

I’ve almost finished recording an album. I have a couple hours left to finish recording, and hopefully will have that out before I leave for Chattanooga. I played at a show in December and I’m playing again next month. Hopefully I will continue playing in Chattanooga as well. While I’m not sure how much I want to get into music, it’s definitely a part of me. I like the challenge of exploring music and finding something that’s your own, not riding on the notes of someone else. It’s always a challenge for the artist to use the same thing as everyone else (paints/brushes/music/instruments), make it different , yet sound similar enough to be able to say who the artist is.

I don’t know everything about this next chapter of life, but who does? We only get one shot at this, so I guess I’ll give it my best.

English Vintner