OK, so folks ask when the farm is open to stop by and purchase stuff. Boy, I wish I had an easy answer for that. The short version of the story is that we are super busy. I know, we live here, why is it so hard? I'll tell you - it's partially because we both work full time. And even if we are working from home, we are working and each day is different. Meetings, projects, etc. We need to focus on work.
Evenings - holy moly we have a 13 year old daughter that does all the things. I'm not the only family like this, and we only have one kiddo! But there is swim practice daily, 4H meetings, Girl Scout events, doctor appointments and social activities. Each week is different and it's hard to be home in the evenings. And somehow in there, I have to find time to cook dinner!
Then, on the weekends, Larry plays rugby, sometimes we do triathlons. I'm totally not joking. And because of those things, we also need to train. We need to run, bike and swim and be ready for our big events. And when all of those things aren't taking our time - there's chores on the farm. I will admit, with our new house - we can't see visitors as easily as we could with our old house. We had a better view of the driveway, and now we just don't. If we aren't in the house, we can't hear the doorbell. I guess it's time for one of those doorbell cameras, huh?
Anyhow, since COVID lockdown has lightened up, we've really struggled with setting farm hours. The good news? FARMER'S MARKET STARTS JUNE 18!! So if you want to find me, I will be in Fickel Park from 9 to noon every Saturday! Want to make sure I bring what you need? Order online in advance. If you set your pickup time for SATURDAY mornings between 9 and noon, I will bring your order to the market! Shop online here anytime!
Anyhow, back to my rambling story. I know it's frustrating as a customer to not know when you can pop in and stock up. I get that, but every day is different in our house.
Let's take a step back in time. I USED to have standard farm hours. I don't remember what they were, but it was likely a couple evenings a week, plus Friday afternoons and slots on the weekends. I did sometimes discover that I would forget and run off to do errands or have to hit the hardware store and I'd miss someone and I'd feel bad. But I really tried to stay home.
Then the house burned down. And took all our product with it. That was September 2018, the good old days before COVID. We shut down the farm because, well, we had no products to sell and the place was a disaster. So we shut down a little bit. We spent from September through most of November living in an RV in the driveway.
Now, look, I am a northern girl and I love me some winter time. THAT winter, living in the RV, and having to change propane tanks at 3AM when they went empty and the RV started getting cold.... UGH. I dreamed of a real house to be in for a while.
I look forward to hibernating in the winter. It's a time to relax, slow down, rejuvenate, and plan for the coming year. That particular year, I needed it BAD. We moved in with a friend, and we had proper running water, solid floor beneath our feet, and I spent a lot of time snuggled on the couch drinking hot chocolate. Alas, without the benefit of my big dogs on my lap, but I took advantage of a real house.
There is a piece of me that believes that between the trauma of losing our house, and all the years of working hard on the farm, I never quite came out of that hibernation. Fast forward a year, and we are now living in a mobile home on the property, and winter is coming again. I don't have my wood stove. I don't have a comfy couch. I do have hot chocolate. And I JUST need that relaxation, that slow down. That Hygge, as it is known.
I see the COVID wave coming through China, as my day job at the time, I had suppliers in China that I was watching to see if they would shut down. I saw the wave coming and was maybe paying closer attention than most around me. Then, just as winter hibernation should be coming to an end, COVID lockdown hit the states.
Between not having a real house, and having very limited storage on the farm, and the place becoming a construction site, we still weren't hosting farm hours on the farm, or tours, for that matter. We weren't hatching chicks, we weren't processing poultry, we just really slowed things down while we focused on rebuilding. And I NEVER felt rejuvenated, and never wanted to let go of Hygge.
Now that I have a big nice house, and we have rebuilt the farm and are back to all the basics plus some extras. I discover that I just can't hold myself to set farm hours. I am constantly seeking that Hygge feeling. Even today, when we were sweltering doing chores at 8AM, because suddenly it has gotten so darn hot, I still seek that cozy feelin
. When I am home, sometimes I want to shut the entire world out, and just sit on my deck and watch my sheep graze, and watch the baby turkeys forage around.
It's not an awesome excuse, and certainly is poor business practice. But something changed during lockdown. I used to run myself ragged taking my daughter all over the place, going to work every day and trying to get to the gym and manage the household. Then we got shut in for a while, and I relished having all that time back. Time I wasn't spending driving here and there and everywhere. We've tried to simplify, but even I still have meetings for Berthoud Local and LCFA, even though they are mostly virtual, it's still a time commitment.
It doesn't mean my customers aren't important. It's why I worked to build the online store, which I admit is a little confusing and awkward. But if you are like me, you might prefer looking to see what we have available online before driving out to the farm to stock up.
But never fear, if you like your Hygge as much as me, then cozy up and relax when you need to. But grab a friend, and join me at the market on Saturdays. I'll bring coolers full of fun stuff for you to choose from, and I'll see you there!