Carbon Ranch Initiative

DeAnne Gabriel, APPRENTICE, Indian Ridge Farm, CO

REFLECTIONS AFTER THE FIRST MONTH

I am a woman who follows her heart. Every time I feel the pull of something new, I marvel at how lucky I am to get to go with the flow and see where it will take me. From a life of networking and travel, to gardening and cooking and baking, to leading people on bikes through the southwest, to the more recent adventure of 16 months of bike focused travel; these things have all led me to Indian Ridge Farm to maybe perhaps fit the pieces together to create a sustainable and enjoyable life for myself.

About a year ago, the question was posed to my partner Dave and I as to weather or not we would want to apply to be the next interns on the farm.  With the plan to ride our bikes from Norwood, CO westward to the Pacific Ocean and then north to Canada on the docket, there was plenty of time ahead for pondering. And ponder I did. I kept coming back to thinking about what is really important to me. What feeds my soul. And also, what role I can play in the greater good of the people. I asked myself what I have to offer the world.

I believe it is a matter of love. Love of the outdoors and being able to immerse myself in it, the love of good food and family with the time to enjoy both. The desire to share my love and enthusiasm for things with others. The privilege to live in a diverse and dramatic landscape that I’ve come to love.  These things inspire me to figure out how to combine a lifestyle that supports my personal happiness with also being a steward of the earth, living in harmony with my surroundings. And at the end of the day, where better a place to find that than on a holistically minded family farm?

I’m in! We applied, went through some interviews, second guessed ourselves briefly, and here we are: one month into our internship, learning all about chickens, collecting eggs, patching fences, eating great food, prepping garden beds with Dave’s sister Anne, sharing time and space with her young boys, digging weeds, hauling compost, planting seeds, getting to know the land, waking up with the sun, asking all kinds of questions of our fantastic mentors, and doing our chores. 

It’s not always easy. I’m tired and forgot to put sunscreen on a tiny patch of my shoulder, it turns out layers make me kind of uneasy at first, and living in a tiny house with my partner isn’t always pure bliss. But these are some challenges that are all leading me towards things that I want to learn and overcome. There is a comfort in the routine, rhythm, and ritual to be found here. I look forward to whatever comes next and hope that this season helps me to open my next chapter.

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