Check In: On My Own
This past week I visited some friends and fellow farmers in the midcoast region and decided, on a whim, to pop into the headquarters of Maine’s organic farming organization. I thought I would introduce myself, meet a few contacts, and discuss my idea to coordinate an apprenticeship program or apprentice support network Down East. I was not well received. In fact, I wasn’t even asked to sit down. Granted, I hadn’t made an appointment, nor had I prepared any material or talking points. Regardless, I had hoped to come away from my impromptu meeting feeling welcome, energized, and supported by a higher level institution. What I left with was renewed energy, but for quite a different reason than I had been expecting.
Down east, it seems, is a region most people and organizations are comfortable with back-burnering [def. back-burnering (v.) – 1) to put on the back-burner, 2) to forget about]. Or maybe we’re not even on the back-burner. Maybe we’ve been tossed out with the compost or fed to the cats. Down East Maine is under-represented, under-funded, and hardly supported… people recognize this, but they don’t DO anything about it. (Now, I’m new on the scene here, and this is just the feeling that I’ve gathered from the folks I’ve talked to so far. If I deserve to be put in my place or if you have information that I would benefit from knowing about, please inform me!)
I don’t just WANT to make this apprenticeship program a reality. I have enough energy, ideas, contacts, and plain ol’ gumption to actually put something in motion, or, at the very least, make an attempt at taking action.
I’m feeling overwhelmed, energized, and excited. I want to get the ball rolling! I know that I will have support from Down East farmers, as I’m sure they welcome anyone with energy and time to develop an idea that has been discussed previously. I will look to them for guidance and it’s good to know that I will have (and already DO have) people cheering for me. They’ll help me find the right direction when I’m feeling lost.