His family was horrified when Mickey bought the farm.
It was a small farm sitting smack-dab in the middle of a city. The city had first grown up several miles away, on the river that fed the farms’ crops. But as the city grew and grew, its suburbs expanded to surround the farm. Other farmers sold their lots, but one held out, knowing the world still needed food.
The city’s expansion around the farm eventually shifted the downtown to include the five acres. Tourists occasionally trespassed, thinking it was a nice little park, until the old farmer scared them off with his shotgun.
When the old farmer died, his family had no choice but to follow his will; sell the farm to another farmer. No condo developments were allowed (despite the incredible offers the farmer had received). The land could only be used for growing food.
Every application they received had to be rejected. Shell companies sprung like weeds that year, but to no avail.
Mickey, at 29, couldn’t find a job, so put in an application with the last of his savings.
His interview went well, and he even suggested the old farmer’s family retain ownership of the land while Mickey saved up the money to later buy the farm from them, selling his crops. They all had a good laugh over that, and his application was approved.
And so Mickey began his farming life, in the middle of the city, battling tourists and teenagers, developers and city officials. They tried to shut him down over the no-chickens bylaw, until he trotted out his grandfathered status. They tried to shut him down for fecal run-off to the storm sewers, until he demonstrated that it was actually from the ritzy neighbourhood next door.
In working the farm, Mickey fought a thousand legal battles, gave two thousand school tours, and still found time to grow and sell his crops.
He felt successful, even if his parents still asked, “Why don’t you become a lawyer, or a doctor? Something respectable?” He no longer fought that battle. He only smiled before jumping back on the tractor, causing another traffic jam on his way to work.