What Happens to the Farm?

| 7/30/2010 4:28:00 PM

A photo of the Sell family December 2009Well, it's been a couple of crazy weeks here at Foxwood Farm. First of all, thank you for the outpouring of support and well-wishes. Knowing people far and wide are behind this transition helps a great deal when the days get long and the details get overwhelming.

In the days since we first talked about our amazing opportunity at St. Brigid's Meadows, we did not yet know what would become of the home farm. There were several ideas on the table between my parents and us. One option that we both hit upon seemed too good to be true. But then again, this month has been full of "too good to be true" moments.

There is a family in the Omro area that has been very supportive of their local farmer. They are the kind of family that every direct-market farmer longs to have in his list of customers. Starting nearly two years ago, we became acquainted with this family through a local homeschooling group. They came to buy pumpkins and gourds from us (our first crop!) before we had anything else to sell (not even eggs). The mother talked about her awareness of locally-produced, whole foods and expressed interest in our products if we ever sold eggs or milk.

Over the winter, we got to know them better at our local church. When we began milking Charlotte last May, this family came to our farm for a tour with their homeschooling group. About 10 families showed up that day and several became regular customers of ours. During that visit, the two oldest kids showed an interest in helping us with our gardens, and our two little ones. We arranged with the parents to have Bret and Cortnie come out nearly every weekday to help me plant, weed, water and harvest in the family garden. In exchange for the summer of help, they got half the money from what we sold in the store, half of the produce for the family to preserve and a solid foundation in gardening, chicken mainenance, and child care. At the end of the season, we were able to feed both our family and theirs for the entire winter.

This past winter, we all determined that the whole family could become involved in the farm, all ten of them. We planned an even larger garden, with the mother fully in charge of maintaining it. They filled in from time to time as our relief milkers. They took care of our chickens and chicks when we had to be away from home. They supported us financially throughout the months when we needed a little extra boost, all in exchange for wholesome food.

Every farmer should want a dedicated family like that building them up and supporting their endeavors. We couldn't have been more blessed by them.

Becky and Andy
8/7/2010 11:29:41 AM

Thanks, Nebraska Dave! I'm pretty sure you take the time to read everyone's blogs and have a great comment for all of them. Thanks for caring about our situation and offering great insight as well! Becky

Nebraska Dave
8/3/2010 4:43:13 PM

@Becky & Andy, so now we have two dreams being fulfilled. Isn’t it wonderful how answers to life long dreams will come at least expected times? I always get thrilled, when I see those that have worked hard, get something unexpected to fulfill that dream they have always had. Things for you seem to have turned from impossible situations to exciting ones. Thank you for keeping us up on the exciting times you are going through. It will be great to continue to see how things work out for you and your family. It’s also great that we get to hear how Foxwood farm continues with the Gerhrking family after you are gone. We get a double blessing for sure. I’m getting excited hearing about all the good changes that are propelling you into a new season of life. Have a great and exciting adventure.

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