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Funky Friday on the Farm

Author’s notes: This article was originally written on April 15th, 2015. Also, ironically, it is a Friday that I am posting this…. almost exactly 4 years later.

I just came across a fantastic video on Facebook of a man that stands up on a commuter train and announces that it is “Funky Friday” and invites everyone to get up and dance with him. His positive energy has a beautiful effect on at least 75% of the people on board as they end up in a fun frenzy of disco love in a very short amount of time.

The video ends with the phrase “life begins at the end of your comfort zone”, and it made me both exhilarated and I’ll admit, a bit weepy at the same time. It just makes me so weirdly happy to see people doing what they really want to do. Who doesn’t want to just break out in dance when you hear an awesome song on the radio, regardless of whether you’re in the grocery store, your kitchen or your car? Many of you have probably seen me in some state of howling and steering wheel drumming if you’ve passed me in my truck. If the song is good, I just can’t help but croon. Anytime I see someone else singing in their vehicle, I always think, YEAH! SING IT, SISTA!

Sid Vicious and Joan Jett with Blondie 😉 We like to sing.

Good for you for not caring what others think and just being lost in the moment of awesomeness. Just like I mentioned in my article last week, that takes risk; you’re doing something that might make you stand out a little, but in doing so, you’re being true to yourself.

Well, if you’re not on Facebook then you may not have heard that Brad and I have just ventured into another high risk zone with the uncertainty of what the payoff will be. Fortunately, we’re not the type of people that are driven by monetary satisfaction (even though we are certainly aware of its role!) but instead see the richness in life experiences. We have just officially become the proud caretakers of acreage in the Dryden area on an old farmstead.

One of the first views that sold us on “the farm”.

We have acquired a piece of land that has fields, chicken coops and rabbit cages, old rickety outbuildings, a large rock cut, trees galore, caves, streams and there are supposedly even some rapids in the back forty! Oh and two running tractors. Tractors!!!

It runs!

I think I started saying, “I’m going to marry a farmer one day” when I was about 18 years old but I never thought that idea would come to fruition because well….I’m in Red Lake, and Red Lake isn’t really well known for its farming. I just figured I’d have to wait for my next life to become a farmer.

A couple of farmers, alright!

But that’s where jumping out of my comfort zone begins. I love Red Lake. I’ve been a Red Laker for over 30 years now (actually, this March marked the 30 year anniversary) and this town has been fantastic to me. It is here that I started my career as both an artist and a teacher, it is here where my child was born, and it is here that I became involved with the community on a variety of different levels from mural programs to Patricia Players, to banner programs, the Communities in Bloom committee and the like. Over the decades, I have immersed myself in the culture of Red Lake as much as an artist can, and tried my darndest to be a farmer at the same time. Alas, it’s tough to be a farmer in a mining town that is full of rocks and gold where the soil is imported from Manitoba. Sure I can have a kick ass garden but I can’t go big, you know? Like, really BIG! I can’t use a tractor in my yard and now that I have one, I want to use it… A LOT.

But we aren’t going tomorrow. My son has just started his high school experience and will finish it here as well. He’s surrounded by some pretty awesome teachers and deserves the opportunity to establish meaningful educational relationships with them. In the meantime, Brad and I have three years to tinker. We have the chance to view the land during all of the seasons. We have the opportunity to observe and contemplate what we have, and slowly develop a plan of attack for not only making that land our farm and our home, but also be a place that can be shared with like-minded people that want an opportunity to learn and create. And we have the opportunity to brainstorm our ideas with you as we explore concepts such as permaculture, hackerspaces, compost pile heaters, open concept studios, artist in residency programs, tinker-schools and many other alternative ideas that don’t necessarily fit in a structured lifestyle. We are at the beginning stages of the creative process and bubbling with excitement. The best part? It’s unorganized territory, so we can get really wacky with our thoughts without having to worry about rules. Don’t get me wrong; everything we do will be enginerically sound (I think I just made up that word, by the way), but we don’t have to worry about things like making sure a building is two feet away from that area or whatever the codes are. We’re not very good at following rules so planning with no rules is super fun and full of possibilities.

It’s pretty clear that some of the buildings are not up to code. But we have made due with them over the years. The building on the right has become a fantastic source of barnboard for various projects over the years! This photo was taken in 2015. So much has changed!

In the meantime, Brad and I will be dancing in between the cheese buns and the chicken curry sauce at IGA. Come and join us if you want because in our world, every day is “Funky Friday”!

Are you a “pinner”? If you want to remember this blog, save it to your favourite Pinterest board and go back to it any time you want! Just click on this picture and you’re there!

Rhonda and Brad stand in front of their new farmstead, shortly after purchase! The snow was still on the ground and we had no idea what we were in for when the snow melted. Here, we are all smiles! We had a lot of hard work ahead of us at the farm, but also a lot of harvesting and foraging fun! #risk #risktaking #boughtthefarm #farmstead #homesteaders
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