We're doing it. We've finally decided to take the plunge and do the thing we've been talking about for more than 15 years. It's finally happening!
Corey, the kids, and I have been working so hard and we want to finally share our news and future plans with you. Some of you probably know we've been dreaming, traveling to distant properties, planning, and dreaming some more for a VERY long time. Some of you may also know we're up to something, so here goes...
WE'RE STARTING OUR DREAM FARM!
We're going to start that farm we've been talking about since we first fell in love and started making plans for a life together - and it's about damn time. You can call us crazy now if you want.
We always thought we'd go down south here in Ohio, or maybe to Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, or even to Pennsylvania. Now, after almost two years of taking weekend family road trips to look everywhere (except our hometown) for a property that checked all of our boxes, we've realized that we couldn't be truly happy living out our dreams anywhere else but home.
I think those loved ones who've known about our travels and plans are a little relieved, to say the least. You know who you are!
Neither one of us grew up farming, though, and to be honest, our dreams felt unreachable until we decide to do a little research and find some help. Through that research, we found the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) and a great group of like-minded people who don't think we're crazy. They've been there, done that, and they have a program.
For us, OEFFA's program is a little bit expensive but they offer scholarships, so we wrote out our dream farm last year and applied. Where there's a will, there's a way and we couldn't believe when the association responded to our scholarship application and awarded us the opportunity to begin our dream. We are forever grateful to whoever read that application and believed in us. Thank you.
This whole past year, through OEFFA's Heartland Farm Beginnings program, Corey and I have been refining our dreams into an actual farm business plan to focus on farming naturally, sustainably, and organically. Starting in spring 2021, we're implementing the first part of our new farm plan, and we couldn't be more excited!
So, to make a long story short, this year we're planning and planting a giant field of lavender, cut flowers, and homegrown produce out at "The Ponds" on W Frederick Garland Road here in good old West Milton, Ohio. We've also decided to grow our flock of rare breed chickens, expand our Coturnix Quail operation, and add some cute little Nigerian Dwarf Goats into the mix. The kids are ecstatic!
We also want to thank Corey's dad, Larry Ward, for patiently listening to our farm vision and truly believing in it, and us, too. We think he's as excited as we are but he wouldn't admit it if you asked. Thank you for letting us have at it at "The Ponds" and for helping in any way you can. We love you.
We kind of joke that this crazy idea of ours is either going to work, or it's going to be a really expensive experiment. Either way, we're truly happy with how things are coming together. It's *almost like things are meant to be.
Our farm is a work in progress and will be for a long time. We have a five-year plan of using back-to-nature farming methods to become certified organic so that we can protect the environment while providing our hometown and community with only the freshest goods. Eventually, as things mature and we expand, we also really want to put our focus into agrotourism with events designed to bring visitors closer to nature, while providing a fun and memorable experience.
We'll be at Cherry Street Local Farmers Market this coming season to see what people really want, and to get a good feel for our community's needs. We've done a lot of research but nothing beats hands-on experience.
Come see us and let us know what you think!