Recently we have had many people contact us about starting a small organic/natural farm similar to ours. This interest in farming is exciting! A thriving local economy (especially when it comes to food production) cannot exist without a network of farmers and supporters of those farms.
In response to this explosion of interest in small farming I thought I would write and tell everyone why we started 47 Daisies and why we farm the way we do.
It seems cliche but I have wanted to farm since I could walk and talk. Since I was a little boy I would tell anyone who would listen about "my farm." This dream grew and grew as I went through my childhood and when I met Harmony she caught the bug too. Interestingly this is not an isolated phenomena. If you google the word "barnheart" you will find thousands of people all over the country yearning for a simple, rural, local life surrounded by the sights, sounds and painful muscles associated with a small farm like 47 Daisies.
I started my first CSA in 1998. While working for the US Fish and Wildlife service I was driving from farm to farm (I was putting up fence for farmers to fence cow out of the creeks) I was listening to NPR and heard the commentator say........."You have to make your own sunshine." Again this sounds cliche but that comment all those years ago triggered some spark and the rest is history.
After a brief five years in Wisconsin to finish up graduate school we moved to Ruston. 47 Daisies materialized instantaneously and the support from Ruston and surrounding communities only cemented the dream that we had been carrying for so many years. Having grown produce in so many different climates over the years (Wisconsin, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Vermont, New York) gave us the knowledge base we needed. Knowing the ins and outs of each individual plant's needs is the first step. Learn about your local climate and then combine the climate and what plants want and then observe and learn. This is the key to successful natural growing. The plants, insects and animals will tell you everything you need to know if you only listen and observe.
We continue to learn every day. We listen and observe and make adjustments constantly..........We feel very strongly that it is every persons right to eat good food. Food that is produced with a conscience. Food that is produced in harmony with nature....not fighting against it. Food that is fresh and nutritious. Food that does not contribute to our global ills. This is why we farm. This is why we live the life we do............to make peoples lives better in our own small (hopefully significant) way!!!!
With a little persistence, stubborness, and of course some hard work we will continue to do what we do....... if for no other reason other than we love it.
Dylan and Harmony, whichever of us have the time to sit down and write for a few minutes. : )