I think what this couple has experienced is the typical Rural-Livng: “two-steps forward - and then one step backwards”. But in their case they are adding up the “one step backwards” in three areas as a walk-a-way reasoning:
Not able to be totally fossil-fuel free.
Not able to completely grow enough/variety of food stuffs to not have to store buy-out.
Not able to Rural-living generate a sustainable income.
I just returned from our annual County Fair. Underneath the chills and thrill rides; the barking commercial vendors, this is still an ag-living fair.
In the Grange Association building was a six-person youths project display with them each documenting growing basil, leeks, and potatoes under different conditions of soil temps; north/south greenhouses exposures; well water versus river water versus captured rain water. They were graded by their controls, observations, AND their proposed improvements
for next growing season.
The FFA (Future Farmers of America) building had youths contesting and documenting in-soil, open air growing of squashes and tomatoes. ALSO a part of their grading was their plans for improvements next growing season.
The Four-H section had the 15 year old Blue-Ribbon winning girl picturing, charting, and graphing out her NEW from pasture converted 1000 square foot diverse kitchen garden. Past ground tilling up this had to be a solo project. And her zukinni squash against three other zukinni growers in pots and established garden space won a Blue ribbon too.
Her this-seasons set-backs she listed was:
Too cold and wet of Spring delaying early seed/plants growths.
Ist year as vegetable garden and the pasture soil was not base fertile enough.
Water source too far from the garden spot making her skimp on watering once we turned seasonal too dry.
And she dreamed too big of garden, and could not keep ahead of the weeds.
Her next-year, I will do better plans then addressed, each and every one of these.
The young island couple set sights on too many lofty goals; bound to have not-works, and set-backs.
Lose sight that they DO now live out, clean and fresh air, with the minimal possible “others” dictating what and how they must do things.
So in fact have gained far more than they appreciate. An over half-full glass-of-life.
And children have been growing up Rural for centuries with minimal problems. Get a dog. A dog breed that will make the child-minding it’s job. Every good dog want a job to do. not like there are snakes, wolves and child-molesters behind every bush.
Heck, my pole beans doing terrible this year - just have to drip-hose them like in the past next year. The heat has cause all of the lettuces, broccoli to bolt. The heat causing cauliflower to just leaf - not fruit.
BUT! I have been eating vine ripen tomato’s 30 days early! We have all of the corn ears tasseled out, now filling out 30 days early. Big, juicy plump cabbages. Squashes and cucumbers out the ears now.
Beets, rutabaga’s, potatoes, and now finality parsnips coming on - looking good.
That’s gardening. That’s farming. That’s Rural living. Not ALL ever, all makes it. Ma’ Natures way. She spews over-seeding to the winds. Let the seeds fall where they may just as long as some take root, to thrive. Live diverse, overlapping, redundant. Life-fully, and lively.
It has always been hard for city-folk to learn these things.
Our last 30 years Just-In-Time Culture makes this especially hard to transition too.
"Failure is just a learning experience to do better next time."
tree farmer Steve unruh