It’s 1pm on a Wednesday afternoon and once again I’m here, at my favorite downtown cafe. Rain drizzling down outside, contrasted with the warm latte in hand I try to conjure up some words.
I’m not always sure what to write about. The business man in me tells me to write about farm products and talk about each of them and try to sell it to you to entice you to buy what we produce.
The poet in me would rather sit back and write something from the heart. Something with meaning to me, connection and something that stems from who I am, not just a selling point to get a foot in the door and make a sale.
Surely the modern day farmer has it tough. In times gone past there was no enticing to sell the quality products produced from the land, people valued food and valued what the farmer sold. In today’s day and age, the fast paced grab and go, the modern convenience of fast food and door delivery, we can no longer understand or value those things. We’ve put our convenience at the cost of quality, in a lot of aspects of life—especially food.
We live in a society that the question first and foremost is how much does it cost? That’s a good question, are you talking about money, or what went into it? We should be asking, how was that raised, what were your methods for growing that, did you see the product from the end to the finish?
We’re so focused on the end cost of a product, we forget that the reason something costs what it does. As farmers who want to be sustainable and care for the land we start out with imposing certain standards on ourselves, and than try to make a profit from the product. It’s this commitment to quality and unwillingness to sacrifice quality for that which allows us to produce high integrity products.
Business is about change and adapting to circumstances and that’s what we’re seeking to do. It’s why we opened up our Egg and Chicken delivery to Chattanooga this year, and we’ll continue it. It’s one of the ways we can compete and continue to stay in the game and makes us different from a lot of farms. Our willingness to give it all we’ve got, the branding and marketing and using social media and events sets us apart from other, more traditional farms. As much it might be ideal to just sit back, do some ‘farm work’ and make a living, in today’s day it takes much more than that. It takes running a small business, networking, communicating, managing, doing events, branding, deliveries, constantly pushing of the business.
Why do we do all this? Because at the end of the day we like to be where we are, living the way we do. We enjoy the 5am days that start with chores, feeding and watering animals. Pruning tomatoes and harvesting vegetables. We do all the other stuff so that we can do what we really love. Living the lifestyle we want to live.
It’s about holistic living. Being able to do what makes us energized, passionate, and keeps us creative. About eating well, having time for relationships and community which in turn makes us live well.