A Social Farm
Last week, we told you about selling our farm by creating connections. The past few days we have been busy doing just that. There were 108 people on the farm for dinner on Friday night and it was a fantastic evening! Our guests got to taste and savor the flavor of each bite of food just feet from where it was grown. Fresh, never frozen or processed and it was a treat. For us, one of the best parts is seeing people all seated together at the long tables.
Talking with friends and strangers alike. Listening to the strumming of the guitar. Patiently waiting for each course to be served and wine glass to be poured while honeybees visit the floral centerpieces. Slowing down enough to enjoy the meal for more than just the food. Making connections with fellow fresh food enthusiasts.
Looking ahead, we have one more week of preparing for guests on the farm. Thursday’s Wisconsin Farmers Union event will be a different type of connecting with both beginning and experienced farmers gathering on our farm. Agriculture as an industry is struggling. We are at a point in time when farmers are receiving an all time low percentage of the food dollar when you consider inflation. One conversation or cooperative effort with another farmer can be the difference in profit or loss for an entire season. We take to heart others’ stories of success and failure as there is a learning opportunity in these conversations. Simply gathering together with our farming neighbors is another long lost tradition making a resurgence, much like eating fresh from the farm.
Thursday morning, Mr. Quan Ban will bring his students to the farm. He keeps an incredible garden at Prentice School complete with a nursery of native plants for prairie restoration, honey bee hives, grape arbors, and apple orchard. He is working to inspire a green thumb in his students and give them the knowledge needed to grow their own food. He also teaches them that people can make a living in agriculture in rural areas hoping to retain young people in small towns like Prentice. Bringing people together to spark conversations about growing and eating local food will be even more important for these young people interested in farming as our local food movement continues to take shape. Getting people to connect to the land where food comes and the farmer who grows it comes one small victory or farm visit at a time.