A Love Letter to Our Farm

Hello farm friends! I hope everyone is doing as well as possible and staying healthy. I hope you are remaining hopeful and your spirits are up. This blog is basically a love letter to our farm. At first it felt strange to write a love letter to anything other than a person but I felt compelled to get my emotions on paper and then ultimately to you all. I am filled with gratitude for my improved health, friends, family, our customers and this farm community that we have built together over the past 10 years. This past year I was grappling with the prospect that we may lose our farm due to health issues that I was experiencing. On a deep level this past winter while dealing with these challenges I realized how much the farm meant to me.  As I was coming out of my late stage lyme disease haze and my strength and cognition were slowly coming back to me we and were hit with the news of Covid-19. These two events have been the perfect storm for our farm business to test our flexibility, creativity and resilience. 

I love my farm, I love my animals and I love the fact that my husband and I support ourselves on the products that we make from our land and the animals that our farm sustains. The beauty of our grass based farm is that the sun and healthy soil provide the nutrition to make nutrient dense cheese and good for your skin soap. The honeybees that we are stewards of produce immune supporting honey, and our pasture raised chickens provide eggs with bright orange yolks. Our chickens give us eggs and help to give us healthy soil. I even love the hundreds of hours of labor and daily care that goes into raising each animal. I love working to ensure their health and well-being. I love being an alternative for consumers in a broken inhumane food system. I am proud to be an animal welfare approved farmer. But most of all, I love seeing bouncing babies in the spring and happy and healthy goats grazing on green pastures the way nature intended. In this time of uncertainty, I do worry that we may lose this way of life. I worry too for our friends that are small scale vegetable growers and other small family farms that may be lost as access to markets shrink. I urge you to seek out your local small family farm and support them.

According to food tank – “This crisis, unfortunately, is only a glimpse of what is to come. Farmer’s continue to grapple with extreme weather from our climate crisis, and if we continue farming with our current practices, the United Nations say we have 60 years of farmable topsoil remaining. To secure the future of our food supply we need a drastic shift in regenerative organic farming practices, a shift to a resilient local food systems and a shift to prioritizing healthy nutrient dense food direct from our farmers.” PP

With that said lets take action together and fight for farms and good food for our families.

The passage below was Copied and Pasted from a Greener World www.agreenerworld.org

Unfortunately, though recent legislation was supposed to extend relief to farms impacted by COVID-19, independent farms and agricultural businesses are still waiting. While aquaculture enterprises, agricultural cooperatives, and nurseries are eligible, the Small Business Administration (SBA, which handles disaster loans) specifically excludes farms from accessing vital loan assistance from emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) programs.

Please click the link below to sign a petition to make sure farms are included in small business relief.

Sign our petition to make sure farms are included in small business relief.

The legislation just passed clearly said funds would be available to farmers. The impacts of COVID-19 have devastated many farm businesses and there is no end in sight to the market disruption caused by this deadly virus. With the mounting closures of restaurants and farmers’ markets, many farms serving these customers have seen their sales evaporate overnight. While $9.5 billion in funding has been committed for local food systems and specialty producers, there is no information about how or when this will be accessible. The Farm Service Agency has an existing loan program for farmers but it is not sufficiently adapted to the current market situation of COVID-19, and at the time of writing A Greener World could find no adaptations to allow farms to access critical funds at this time. The promise of funds is meaningless if they’re not accessible when farmers need them.

A Greener World’s statement:

“We’re calling on all of our constituents to contact their representatives and demand urgent action to allow farmers to apply for the same relief as other businesses through the Small Business Administrationor, to put pressure on the USDA to provide resources for these farmers to access much-needed emergency funds. Along with healthcare workers, grocery stores and logistical and utility workers, farmers are on the front lines in the fight against this pandemic. They are continuing to work through unimaginable schedules and conditionsmany times with no safety net and new demands of adapting to a pandemicto provide us the food we depend on. These urgently needed loans could be the lifeline for sustainable, cutting edge farms in the United States. While funds have been allocated by Congress, no steps have been taken to expediently get this money to those who need it. As an organization working with some of the most impacted farmers we are painfully aware that resources are needed now.

While the first priority in this unprecedented and challenging time is keeping people safe and well, we also need crisis management that doesn’t sacrifice our future. If we can’t show our independent farmers the same level of appreciation we do for a multi-million dollar widget-maker, we face the very real danger of losing these farms foreverand with them, the food security of this country. We call on everyone who farms or eats to contact their representatives immediately and demand clarity on how independent farms can access the resources so readily available to other sectors.”

Through these challenges this past year it has only reinforced my mission to farm humanely and sustainably. We will get through this together!

In health, love, and strength,

Gretta