Living on a farm is a real time commitment. It’s really no different than owning a dog or a cat, with the exception being that you can’t drop 8 chickens, 5  ducks, 4 rabbits, and 23 fish off at a kennel – oh and there are the gardens that need watering and tending as well. A vacation was in order. We wanted to spend time with family, but our plant and animal family needed tending as well. Cue the extended community family.

Dinner on vacation at OBX with my dads, my Husband, and some of my oldest friends. Jim Bruner | Mezzacello

In the past, I have called on a small cadre of family and close friends to help out in a pinch. This year we reached out to Facebook and were very surprised by the interest! We found two friends, Blake and Mackenzie, willing to babysit the hen yard animals and oversee the fish and my dear niece Sarah managed the plants at Mezzacello. And Larissa to come in st the last moment to shut the birds away while Rick and I drove home through the mountains back home, past Monticello (Tip of the hat) to Mezzacello.

Our friends in Columbus Helping Care for Our Chickens, Ducks, Rabbits, and Fish Jim Bruner | Mezzacello

This is one of the finer distinctions of a modern urban farm; there is technology that makes life, travel, hobbies easier, but there is a smaller pool of candidates who can step in knowingly to manage a small homestead in a pinch. It’s a reverse Dunning-Kruger effect. You are so confident that these systems are easy to manage and maintain, but the general public is easily overwhelmed. It puts a fine point on our mission to Grow, Maintain, Sustain, and Explain — especially the explain part. While we were connecting with the ocean and old friends, family, Virginia and grandkids our new extended family was giving us a new gift: the comfort and peace that our mission matters and we live in a vibrant community full of adventurous, gracious, and engaged friends and family. That’s a garden worth tending, honoring, and living in. Plant a seed, but commit to being the harvest when you show gratitude for the life we had, we have, we will want for future generations. Cheers!

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