Letting go. Creativity takes courage.
In late November 2017, I finished my last harvest as a row crop farmer. I had already opened my store in town, and was working double time to keep it open while doing my field work.
Our auction was scheduled for December 9th, and we just had soybeans remaining in the field. Mom came out to ride with me for the Glory Pass, the last pass of the last field of the season, which would be the last pass of our careers as women row crop farmers. We just barely made it to the end when beans started running out of the tank onto the engine compartment.
I brought all of this up to give context. JYFG is still a baby business in terms of it being my full-time gig. I ran the farm for 9 years, and for 8 of those, JYFG was part-time, as I crammed in creative time welding, cutting, scrapping, painting, sanding, loading, unloading, doing shows and promo events, junkin’, and working to grow the business. It was stressful, beautiful times, setting up for shows, then running back to the combine/planter/sprayer and running hard in the field while mom and other wonderfuls took care of my booth sales. Slow, steady growth turned welding up junky metal flowers in the machine shed floor to a full-blown junk repurposing business!
By the time I totally merged the two in fall 2017 and began phasing out of the crop farming and getting deeper into JYFG, I felt good about letting the crops go. I felt ready. Life is no less busy now than it was when I was a crop farmer, all the time working in the field, but we wouldn’t have it different. We are focused on continuing to grow on our homestead and in our creative business.
As Mom and I rode together on the Glory Pass, we were also beginning a ride on the wave of popularity we are seeing for hand crafted items, for skilled trade knowledge, for feeling a connection to the person who made the things you buy. As much as I always felt I was meant to farm, I also feel we are both meant to teach others how to use what you’ve got on hand in order to make beautiful memories last, how to use your hands, how to make your brain work outside the box, and how creativity takes courage.