Shedding My City Skin

Written by Rosie Gilchrist: June 2015 Practicum Student

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Mine is not a new story, not an uncommon story, not at all unique, yet despite this it seems necessary to tell it, to find space for my retelling. For it is a journey many are embarking on. Young, idealistic, enthusiastic, often theoretically educated, overwhelmed individuals are arriving at farming, because done in an ecologically/sustainably/holistically minded way, it is the one thing that unquestionably makes sense. In a world that sadly often fails to make sense, engaging in practical matters of agriculture draws many strings together.

IMG_1236For all intents and purposes I’m a complete beginner, city life and all that that entails snared me for the last few years, it was clearly a finite endeavor but with all the promises of purpose, potential and drive wrapped up in city life, it was easy to fall into. It was obvious part way through my degree that there is only a certain amount of talking, thinking, reading and debating about issues of food justice and sustainability that one can do before realizing that actually change requires one to ‘bite the buck’ so to speak; to leap into doing in entirety, not just with minds.

IMG_0043And that is what I’ve done. Everyone we meet asks how I’ve ended up here, the English accent seems to require explanation and I wish I could say simply “because I understood that I needed and wanted to’ and for that to be sufficient. For now though I give a long answer, try and convey without boring people that somehow or other more and more of us need to embrace a life in and on the land if we are going to come anywhere close to a just and nourishing food system for all.

Three weeks in, and Grange Farm School is providing for and supporting our learning in all that I theoretically came to understand I needed, and this feeling is incredible. Even putting aside pressing issues of necessity, being here is in itself wonderful.

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