Simple – it’s in our blood.  As many people will tell you, farming is a serious addiction.  I was raised on a cattle/grain farm near Buchanan; Brett is from a swine/cattle/grain farm near Birch Hills. We both grew up chasing animals, running combines and tractors, mending fences and helping out in countless other ways.  Farm life is never boring, and often hair-raising – as my dad says, if you can survive past the age of 18 on the farm, you can survive pretty much anything!

Brett and I both did the usual sorts of things young people do – travel, college/university, environmental and engineering careers, procreation – but we just couldn’t ignore the call of the land and soon we were moving out to a farm of our own.  It was only a matter of time before a workshop with Joel Salatin gave me the inspiration and information I needed to turn our part-time farm into a full-time business….and I’ve never looked back.  Brett still works in the city but helps out lots on weekends and evenings.

What drives us? It’s not just the fun of seeing our kids enjoying the things I did as a child, or the gratification that comes with sowing seeds or starting animals in the spring, watching them grow and then harvesting them to feed your family and friends through the winter.

It’s also the empowerment and adventure that comes with a job that changes so much from day to day and season to season:  I may find myself acting as an animal caretaker or transporter, plumber, marketer, carpenter, veterinarian, food processor, event coordinator, gardener, or any number of other roles!

A surprise visitor might find me behind the barn, helping to birth a lamb – or in the kitchen rendering lard for soap – or up at the apiary with Ross, harvesting honey  – or digging in the garden with my kids – or dodging flying wrenches with my dad in the shop as he fabs up his latest invention – or bouncing along through the field raking hay behind Brett on the mower …or just about anywhere else!

There’s enormous satisfaction in knowing that our holistic farm management  is making difference for the land and the planet, as well as the animals we raise and the people who buy from us. And a deep excitement in knowing that we’re helping to give our customers a perspective on life, nature, and food that most people never get!

After all, nothing could ever replace our visitors’ experience of tromping across the fields to meet our cows and see our sheepdog Elsa protecting the lambs… stopping to see the pigs wallowing and rooting in their outdoor enclosure…or checking out the pastured chickens in their portable housing.

These are experiences you’d never have on the average factory farm…and I believe they’re experiences we all need these days, when humans are becoming progressively more disconnected from the sources of our food. They’re experiences we need to remind us of what it is to be alive at the most basic level.

-Arlie LaRoche

“Why do farmers farm, given their economic adversities on top of the many frustrations and difficulties normal to farming? And always the answer is: “Love. They must do it for love.” Farmers farm for the love of farming. They love to watch and nurture the growth of plants. They love to live in the presence of animals. They love to work outdoors. They love the weather, maybe even when it is making them miserable. They love to live where they work and to work where they live. If the scale of their farming is small enough, they like to work in the company of their children and with the help of their children. They love the measure of independence that farm life can still provide.

Wendell Berry, Bringing it to the Table: On Farming and Food

Stay up to date