2022 has been a year of many changes and much that has stayed the same on the farm and in the lives of the farmers. The winter of 2021-22 was again more dramatic than we've dealt with to date (even more than Snowmageddon Feb 2021!). And as I write this, Winter 22-23 looks to be even more exciting! (Thank you extremely low temps for several days before Christmas! ) We suffered a total loss because of this – something that has never happened before.
The CSA will be shut down for at least January and February and possibly March. This is leading us to look at changing our practices in many ways from low tunnels to high tunnels to hardier winter veggies! We're also looking into ways to make the farm more profitable. It's held it's own for 14 years, but we'd like to see it become more sustainable in the future. We hope to have more classes and seminars on offer – like adult farm camp (to compliment our kids camp) and raised bed and compost building seminars. Maybe some cooking classes added to our kombucha classes. The biggest news is that we successfully filed for non profit status. We hope this will enable us to partner with SFA (UT) and write grants for capital improvements like those mentioned above, as well as accept tax deductible gifts. We have also scheduled a music festival for April 1st. So save the date!
Another big change was the decision to bring me home to the farm full time. This was a leap of faith enabled by my NuSkin business. If you've been a NuSkin customer this year, you've supported the farm!Thank you! Though I have loved teaching for 30 years, it was no longer reasonable to try to grow the farm, support Farmer Bryan, and build my NuSkin business. I was meeting myself going and coming! We're confident that this was right decision for all of us.
Being retired has enabled me to spend more time with my amazing Daddy, too! We've enjoyed singing in the Stone Fort Chorale together this year and swimming 2-3 times a week at the Boys and Girls club! At almost 85, he continually amazes me. He's an integral part of the farm, delivering farm shares to members in town, occasionally prepping piles of fruits and veggies and serving as sous chef and “chief bottle washer” at the house!
Bryan continues to blow me away with his incredible attitude, ever growing knowledge of farming and physical strength and stamina unlike any other 67 year old I've ever known! He gets up every day ready to face weather in all its extremes, bugs and worms of all sorts, and weeds like you can't even imagine! He is ever committed to growing healthy food without poison! He never wavers – even while I grumble under my breath about blowing it all up! His passion is contagious. I love how the kids (of all ages) are drawn to him when he teaches in words and actions.
All our pets are doing great. We have 15 chickens including Sherlock, our rooster. We were so blessed that Watson finally found a home and a flock of his own with the Canas'. Reports are he's super happy! We have three guineas, and we've recently added a pair of beautiful geese: Poncho and Lefty thanks to Rachel Payne! We love them so much! Bandit and Spartacus are our seniors, but are both healthy and active. Freya, the shepherd, is so beautiful but struggles with seasonal itchy skin and some kind of chronic injury in her back, but she's the most loving dog I've ever had. Our newest addition is Crixus aka Cricket aka “little black kitty” - he's hilarious and we love him so much! Tons of personality! He recently scared us by frantically climbing a tree to more than 20 feet in the air!
We are blessed beyond measure by our community: church, farm, NuSkin and many, many friends! Today at church we were lead to reflect on all the good, good, blessings that we received in 2022. Both Bryan and I teared up as we reflected on all the miraculous ways God has blessed us through others. While we have had some severe setbacks, we look forward to what comes next; we are confident that the good will outweigh the bad and that God will continue to bless us and the farm in the year ahead. We are honored to continue to serve our community through the precious resource that is Appleby Community Farm.
We pray that 2023 is your best year ever! May God shine His light on your path and fill your heart with His love.
Bryan & Cindy