Participant Forum: Strategies for Success

campfire connection

Picture of Debbie Sexsmith
campfire connection
by Debbie Sexsmith - Saturday, March 27, 2021, 6:23 PM

Hello everyone, I have to say that your reminders about taking things one step at a time and keeping things simple have really helped to keep me from feeling overwhelmed lately. 

A while back, I interviewed our garden volunteers, while we seeded onions and other early crops.  We took some time to reflect on last season and wrote down ideas for this year.  At first we talked about how we had a waiting list and how the demand is rapidly growing, making us a little nervous. In January, I had sent out a survey monkey to our CSA members, so I shared the results.  The feedback was uplifting, telling us to keep up the good work and how important it is to them.  We all felt inspired and ready to grow. 

The next interview was a walking tour with a conservation consultant looking at wetland projects for this summer.  He helped set a timeline, sited where the bridge could go and began drafting a budget.  He will also help with permits, phew. They are big projects and I realize that we can't do them alone.

The best interview was with my mother, out in our woodlot.  We walked the bush and identified sugar maples to tap.  Then we had hot dogs over a campfire.  We hadn't been out to the bush in a while and remembered how peaceful it is.  Right off the bat, she surprised me when she said the most important thing about the farm is that it is a place where people make a spiritual connection to the earth.  We have had troubled youth come to the farm as volunteers and something changes in them.  There is something special here that we can't seem to put into words.

I believe we agreed that we have to keep it going.  Chris, I took a leap of faith a year and half ago.  I left paid employment and have managed to keep afloat (sometimes barely).  Winter is most challenging, but resources seem to come along right when you need it.  Finding the key revenue streams takes some time and definitely some assessment and professional advice helps too.  That is where we are at and made it a priority in our goals.  Making a living through farming is possible, we need to believe that :)