This past year marked 10 years that I’ve owned and lived on my boat, Acedia. She is a special vessel, a Freedom 38; she has no shrouds! In these 10 years, I have learned to sail and handle this vessel myself. This year I decided that it was time to live a dream of untying and having an epic sail.
Originally, I thought quitting my job and going off sailing for 6 months in the Caribbean would be a relatively easy thing for me to do. After all, I am whimsical, my friends were doing it, and well, by now, it’s been more or less expected of me. Yet, I feltas if I couldn’t just sail away for that extended period of time just for fun. After all, what if I never wanted to come back?! I needed to sail away but also have a purpose, a vision, or at least a thought resembling a plan.
My Background and vision
I grew up in upstate New York and have studied and worked in the environmental/sustainability field my entire life; if you meet me, you would immediately know that I have an engrained passion for lessening human impact on our earth’s ecosystems. I refuse bags, straws, toxic cleaning agents, conventional foods when I can, I reuse, share, and scheme efficiencies, pick up plastics out of the harbor, advocate green building, etc, etc, etc.
My environmental career has included private consulting, positions with the USVI and MA state agencies, and managing a sustainability program within the US Navy. In the most recent years of my environmental career, facing the realisms of climate change and doom <sigh>, I decided the only thing we as humans can do to have a positive impact on the earth as we know it (that fits into what we need in today’s society)…is to organically farm. Associated with organic farms (OFs)are a tremendous amount of good; I envision a world where OFs restore the soil and natural ecosystems, create communities, create/boost local economies, put real food on our plates, reduce chronic diseases, are a means to provide tools and teach skills to poverty stricken populations, gives opportunity for people to feed themselves, allow our socioeconomic structure to redefine success and the definition of what it means to be rich, and the list goes on and on.
In theory, I would go out and buy a huge plot of unproductive land to recreate productive soils via well managed farming techniques, however, my lifestyle doesn’t quite fit that business plan, yet. I don’t sit still well, I live on a boat, and I’m always looking for the next place to visit, adventure to be had, etc. My solution: many farms; visit and support many, many farms!
My goal is to attempt to combine my sailing and ecologically minded lives and sail from island to island, explore local food and farms on the lands I end up at, and write about what I learn; I want to advocate that success can look like getting your hands dirty and playing in dirt…productive soils; I want to advocate what food choices you can make to have a positive impact. In fact, I want to make you think real food and production is all glamorous. Glamorous in 2016 should look like humans engaging in the most healthy and kind occupation we can do for ourselves and each other. Love thy farmer neighbor! Be a farmer. Grow a garden, plant potted herbs, buy fresh produce at the local farmers market. We are meant to eat what comes from the earth. Let’s again produce food the way nature intended