For the last two years, every time I came across a photo of Laura Ferrara and her amazing farm Westwind Orchard in upstate New York, I have been so overwhelmed by what she’s accomplished that I have to look away. I first spotted photos of her farm-based pizza restaurant on Instagram, and then I noticed her homemade jam and honey with its perfectly designed packaging on Pinterest, and then Garance Doré was blogging about apple picking at Westwind and EyeSwoon was hosting a harvest supper there, and the whole thing just made me so impressed and inspired but also intimidated and terribly inferior. That was when I decided I had to avert my eyes. How on Earth did she manage to maintain her day job as a fashion editor, while her husband maintained his job as a photographer, and raise a child, and run this amazing farm with all these products and services and also have it open to the public?!? Just when I was starting to feel settled into my quiet, happy life on the farm and getting the feeling that I was finding a balance between work and pleasure and family and my occasional visits to NYC and my writing and my photography, Laura comes along and suddenly I feel that I am accomplishing absolutely nothing at all!!
Isn’t it awful how we beat ourselves up in this way?
Well, this little story I was telling myself about how she was doing everything and I was doing nothing lost some of its power when I found out that they actually bought their farm nearly 15 years ago. Somehow that made everything more relatable and achievable. Not that I see what they have as something I want for myself exactly, but it is my dream to resurrect the productivity of the farm. There are empty fields and abandoned barns dating back to 1860 that have long lost their purpose, and my ultimate goal for living here is to find a reason to bring them back to life. I don’t know what that actually means yet, but I am toying with many ideas, and have given myself until Zach is at boarding school a year and half from now to figure out what the vision and the goal is and to start to slowly work towards it. In the meantime, I am trying out every farm activity possible to identify what I most enjoy doing and how I would like to best use my time. And I am also envying Laura and holding her on a pedestal and admiring her for setting the bar very, very high.