Welcome To Apriorifarm!


Storm Rolling in from the North

After years of planning, reading and dreaming about farm life, we finally made the leap and moved to the country in May 2010. Apriori Farm is 19 acres of mostly open pasture near Farmville, Virginia. In its former life, it was a horse farm.

Apriori, or more correctly, A priori, is a Latin term which has acquired many meanings down through the centuries. Literally translated, it means that which comes before. The name I chose for my farm thus reminds me this land has a history. What ever it produces this year depends in part on what happened to the land last year and all the years before. How God made it in the first place, how nature and man has cared for it since. Now I am part of that stream of history. What I do now, will affect the land’s potential in the future. Pretty humbling and motivation to proceed with care, especially since I know from history that civilizations rise and fall on the health of their soils.

This definition of A priori also serves to remind me that agriculture too has a past. The way farmers farm now is very different from how it was done prior to the Industrial Revolution. When I am tempted to solve a problem with a power tool or a chemical, I can look to that name to nudge me into the history of agriculture to see if maybe the old way is better for the history I am building on this land.

A priori also means knowledge without experience. That certainly describes us well. For nearly twenty years I’ve been reading about farming, gardening and homesteading. Intellectually, I know in general terms, how it’s all done. Practically, I have six years of riding lessons to guide me with my attempts at animal husbandry. Two failed gardens and twenty years of yard work serve as my experience in growing plants and pastures.

I know farming is hard work. Handicapped as I am with my lack of experience, it’s going to be harder than if I had been born into a farm family. It means everything I do will take much longer than it probably should. It means I won’t always have the correct solution the first time. But how hard can it be, really? As long as I don’t put the cart before the horse . . . Apriori. Perfect.