As I enter into the new year, both on a personal and business sense, with both being more intertwined when you own a farm-based business and lifestyle, the focus will continue to be circled around those events and projects that bring us closer to our food source, the importance of protecting and preserving agricultural lands in our communities. We can all play a role in understanding and caring about food security and how keeping money local is probably the best thing we can all do to survive in an ever-changing world.
How we will continue to support local
By keeping our money local, which can sometimes be more expensive, we are allowing more small businesses in our town to stay in business; employing local adults and kids.
Our farm will continue to provide an open door policy as best as it can with plans on developing better access to our animals for all to get a better hands-on opportunity. Our animals play a major role in the success of our farm. From producing milk for our popular cheeses and bottled milk, both wholesale to Organic Valley as well as in our store, wool for yarns and value-added products in the studio, to meat and eggs and most importantly their manure which is required to fertilize our fields, crops and garden beds. Without the animals, as our logo says, food would be hard to come by, and they, in essence, do feed us in more ways than one. For this reason, I overemphasize to visitors the fact that our animals are not part of a seasonal petting zoo, but rather working employees that simply have four instead of two legs. Some have names, which those of you who are regular visitors, have come to know; Dennis, Maximus, Gabriel, and Zeva to name a few. Their particular job is to help buffer those animals that are not interested in constant attention and thrive on the hands-on therapy that we all long for when having an opportunity to be in a space where it doesn’t matter what you say or do. They are there to console, offer friendship, laughter and more importantly an ear without judgment. It is not unusual for me to have ongoing conversations with particular groups of animals whenever I am in their space. It is just as therapeutic to them as well as myself.
Every year, we set goals during our short break. This year the larger theme will be consolidating areas for better efficiencies to all of us who work and live here as well as to all of the visitors.
- Farm animal visiting area being first on the list.
- Create CSA engagement
- Develop more educational opportunities for community members