Last year, my savings account was looking rather impressive. Please let me explain, because I didn't inherit one dime of my "nest egg." It was hard fought by having more than one job and through blood(giving plasma), sweat(farming on weekends) and tears(to many to mention). I had been building this account for well over a decade with a vision and hope that I one day would come home and save my families farm. My goal was to put away around 200 dollars a month with faith in my heart that in my late 30's I could amass enough money for a down payment. As I have mentioned before, farm land isn't cheap and the average age of most farmers is 58+. Small farms are dying out more and more every year and the people that grow our food are regrettably on the decline. This is not ok with me and this should sound an alarm in you as well.
This massive social problem needs to be remedied and repaired because shipping in all our food from other countries is not our best bet and could leave us very hungry one day. Being able to buy local, fresh, in season fruit and veggies really is vital to our community, important for the next generation and critical for the stewardship of our planet. Farmers cannot sustain unless they have a whole community rallying, rooting and investing in their continued success. Befriending a farmer really is a mutually benefiting partnership for us all. When I hear a friend of my farm say, "This is my farm and you are my farmer, it melts my heart because I am filled with wild hope that I am not alone and I am fully backed by my community. My community really cares and knows how important it is to rally for local farms and farmers.
On our farm we grow primarily pears. We also grow apples, cherries, prunes and peaches but we mostly grow pears. Did you know that Americans only eat 3.2lbs of pears per capita, per year. That is about 3-4 pears a year. In Europe they eat 28lbs of pears, per capita, per year. Pears are more nutritionally dense than an apples and I need more people in our community to eat more pears. (Click to see the nutritional value)
This month as I have been completing a farm equipment inventory with all our tractors, cutters and small machinery. I also place a high value on caring for my loyal employees that faithfully work on my orchard by making sure they feel like their housing is in good repair. A culture of honor and dignity are core values of mine so investing in the care of my people is a high priority of this farm. I am also building a 26 by 28 square feet place for myself on the orchard I find it alarming that my hard saved cash is rapidly hemorrhaging out. I find myself feeling like I am drowning in debt and uncertainty often. The fear of failing is something I have to shake off about every 2 minutes and I am realizing more and more that I simply cannot do this alone. I need more friends of my farm who want to help to save my farm as well. Will you Rally for your grateful farmer? Will you choose to support and invest in my farm and buy locally? Will you root for me to sustain each and every year and pray for good harvests? Will my farm be your farm? Please, Help me save my families farm, friends. I cannot do it alone and I sincerely need your help. I am so grateful for all your words of encouragement, cards and for simply showing up and buying apples and pears. I am indebted to you all, xoxo your grateful farmer.