Tonight Trevor and I were talking about what we want our new –and as of yet, undiscovered– homestead/farm to be like. Not just about which animals we want to delve into first, but about the community we want to contribute to. We are lucky enough to have a wonderful food co-op in our town that really supports and encourages local farmers; big, small, and teeny. (Hi Arleen!) They are a huge inspiration to us and so effortlessly prove that this life path is not a competition. One of my favorite aspects of this growing community of like-minded people, is that everyone is willing and happy to share information and experiences. This is how I have come to learn to make sauerkraut, make fermented salsas, make cheese, take and share both water kefir and kombucha, and have also learned to milk goats. Having a real community is amazing.
I never knew what “community” felt like until I joined this little hole-in-the-wall food cooperative. And now, I have been able to watch the local food co-op grow in size and in heart. Every single person there is helpful and encouraging. It is this attitude that makes us want to pay it forward. We may not be able to teach what we do not know or have not mastered yet, but at this new farm, we also want to encourage and inspire others to do more.
• It may take a year or two to get tours up and running again, but in the meantime, Trevor and I want to do mini-workshops at our new place. Ideally, projects we will already need to tackle to expand our new farm.
• We want to start weekly drop-in game nights. We have recently re-discovered how fun board games are and want to share some good ol’ fashioned fun with some fairly unknown board games and card games. No Monopoly or Uno here folks!
• I would like to encourage people to come out for a “day in the life” kind of thing where they can get hands on experience with the livestock and garden. Nothing has taught me more than actually getting my hands dirty with a new project.
• It would also be great to start an annual seed and plant sale. Profits from selling plant starts from our (hopefully gigantic) greenhouse would be donated to promote the arts in our local schools. If there is one thing that is suffering in the public school system in America, it is definitely visual and performing arts. Being a ceramics teacher, I cannot overlook such a thing especially since only one elementary school in our county has an actual art class anymore.
• Another thing I’d like to do is start a pick-your-own plot of flowers.
What kinds of things does your community do to inspire you?