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EMBRACE THE ADVENTURE – REFLECTING ON LIFE 20 YEARS LATER AS A CSA FARMER IN THE PITTSBURGH AREA

by | Mar 14, 2023 | From The Farm

20 YEARS OLD COMPARED TO 40 YEARS OLD

This week I spent a lot of time in my hometown. As I drove through downtown Cleveland I reflected on my 20 year old self as compared to my 40 year old self.
At 20, I would never have driven downtown. Maybe I was unlike most 20 year olds but that made me too nervous. At 40, I have to admit, even though traffic makes me nervous still, I am more assured of myself and confident of my abilities.

My 20 year old self had a plan. I was going to finish college, get married and work in a business setting. I loved computer work, organizing and typing. I loved the job I had which involved document control for a certification agency.

LIFE CHANGES AS YOU GROW

Me, at around 20 years old
Me, at around 20 years old

Never in my life would I have thought I’d be farming when I was 40. I was the girl who didn’t know how to keep any plant alive. Neither did I know how to cook anything (I am talking burnt pancakes but raw inside type of cooking).

I thought about this and the changes life brings you. At 20 you think you have everything figured out. I felt confident. Now at 40, I realize how little I knew and how much more self assured I am now.

I reflected on if someone had told me when I was 20 that I would marry a farmer and start farming, what would I have said? Honestly, I would have laughed. Most who knew me then would have laughed at that thought as well. I was a hard worker, but I preferred work in an airconditioned, comfortable office. Sitting out in a field in 90 degree temperatures – NO WAY would I have done that.

If you would have told me, I’d be running a CSA program and offering cooking advice in the Pittsburgh area, I would have laughed even harder. I could not cook even if it meant following a recipe.

If you would have told my 20 year self that I’d leave living close to my family and move out of my comfortable suburb to a rural area near Pittsburgh, I would not have believed you.

Yet as we grow, life changes. We try things, and sometimes we succeed, and other times we may fail. However, when I look back at the past 20 years, I wouldn’t change a thing! I am grateful I took the leap and learned how to grow fresh produce. I am glad of the experiences I have been able to enjoy and the people I have been able to meet. I am grateful for my family and the opportunity to teach my children the value of hard work. And although I still don’t like being out in the field on 90 degree days, I feel happy at the end of the day. Maybe sweaty, exhausted but happy because together my family and I planted those seeds, cared for those plants, and harvested the fruit of our labor. I think about the smile on the faces of our customers as they enjoy our fresh, locally grown produce. And it is that feeling, true satisfaction, that I am glad my 40 year old self gets to enjoy now.

So moral of the story: embrace the changes. Go on the adventures! I promise you won’t regret it.

All the best,
​Kim Haffey

Me, now at 40 years old, in the garlic fields