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  • Writer's pictureRyan & Ally Gerken


I was thinking this week about inertia, and how much of it I had been feeling through Covid. I knew all the things Ryan and I needed to be doing but we simply couldn’t create those outputs. I tried applying pressure to myself... I mean Taylor Swift wrote TWO albums during the pandemic, and here I was struggling to update a business plan, complete a marketing plan, or just simply do one productive thing a day towards having a successful farm. It wasn’t until this week reading one of the many farm books that I’ve been digging my nose into, I finally had an epiphany as to why?

Sure a-lot-of-bit was the financial hold the pandemic put on us; we really didn’t have any financial wiggle room to move forward the business. If we didn’t have kids, sure we could have taken some financial risk on… BUT parenting in a pandemic is a responsibility that you must navigate with absolutely no handbook and without a single soul alive to share their advice on how they navigated it. (so if you are parenting during this pandemic you are doing something remarkable). As a safety for our kids, we put all our pennies away just in case.

The other cause that I believe lead to my inertia (still does) is that when you change your lifestyle, like really change 100% about everything you do and start living your dream life, not only is it overwhelming at ALL. OF. THE. TIME. but you are challenged each day to do something you have never done before – and once you start you have to keep going.

To put this into perspective, think back to a time when you wanted to either ask for a raise or apply for a promotion. How many times or how long did it take you to do it or did you even do it? And then add in the fact that your female… because it’s becoming fact that being female can create a false narrative about your abilities and deservedness in work and in life.

I have to, every single day almost, do something I have never done before. I have to believe in myself, my ability, and accept responsibility for the outcomes. Towards the end of 2020 I reaffirmed my commitment to Ryan & myself having our own family farm and running a nonprofit. It wasn’t until this week though, reading about Chicken Farming and jotting down all my notes that I had a clear idea of why it took time to reaffirm my commitment – BECAUSE IT IS FUCKING SCARY to do things for the first time!!

In my book the author writes that the reason most farms are not successful is because people get so scared to take that first step. Now in this case he was referring to "taking out" a chicken if you know what I mean? Still not sure I will ever do that…

The realization that came to me, however, was these two new piglets. They have had health issue after health issue, and we are still not sure we are past it. Our vet wasn’t able to see them until two weeks after they were showing signs of illness, so I had to figure it out. And when you raise pigs for compost and not meat MORE so they live in your house and cuddle your kids… I’m just doing things differently and I know that and I take responsibility for that AND it’s a lot of firsts for both Ryan and I. Firsts are scary… the other day I had to vaccinate the piglets (like with a needle of which I then accidentally poked myself with after because I was so freaked out… I am ok btw). But I couldn’t not do it, we made a choice and in my personal experience if you make a choice and wobble on it after, it usually doesn’t end well or your challenged with rising to the occasion authentically.

This is farm life, and it is very different from the suburbs of Chicago and the bustling life of downtown Denver! It is exciting, and I now have more clarity on why when your everything-you’ve-dreamed-of is staring you in the face, it can be hard to begin.

Anywho, to circle back to parenting and the pandemic, I cut my girls hair the other day. Its like every day is a new challenge: every day there is something we were not expecting to have to do. There is no routine to settle into because you don’t know what will happen next or when it will end. And if I may add, I highly advise folks to stop saying “get back to normal” even if this all ended tomorrow you can’t erase a year and several months from your life. Anyone who has survived trauma can tell you that. You adapt, but you can’t erase time or change the past and you have to allow time to heal you. READ that again YOU have to allow time to heal YOU, going back to the way life was pre-covid will not be your vessel, you are your only vessel, environment and time are only conditions to assist.


On a fun note, I think Petunia is wondering why we brought pigs home? She truly identifies as dog-human and though she has used many new pig-voices since the piglets and Camilla (our vision impaired Kune donated by a local farm here in Montrose to Nonprofit Gardens) have arrived, she is still acting as though she is not one of them!!!

Until next time,

Be Kind. Be Positive.

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