2019 Farm & Family Update
Happy New Year all (even if a bit delayed)! We are grateful for a slightly slower season, even with subzero temps, and wanted to send a brief farm and family update. 2018 was a bit tumultuous, especially as we mourn the loss of Michele’s sister, Kim. However, we had moments of great joy and gratitude. Thank you for your prayers, notes, gifts, and encouragement!
We’ve continued to transition in 2019 as the overall farm operation is a microcosm at less than 1/4 of its previous size. Today, we manage three operating enterprises as Healthy Homestead:
We continue to rear grass-fed cattle, sheep, and pastured poultry to market cow-shares for raw milk, beef, lamb, and soy-free eggs on certified organic land and pastured poultry from Rob North of Earth Cure Farm as a result of a barter--grains for poultry.
Listing the ranch house on AirBnB has been successful, but local competition during the last quarter of 2018 has caused a reduction in bookings thus far for 2019. All our guests have been thrilled with the space and the location, and we’ve enjoyed sharing our story and home with many new people.
SUMMER SILO SERIES
Our four concerts in 2018 were a blast! Once again we were privileged to host incredible musicians. Turnout was low due to consistently bad weather--only half of the nights were actually on the Silo stage and one of the two events required a short intermission to let a rain cloud pass. Hopeful for better weather this summer! We’re booking artists now.
In October we closed out our growing season with an intimate evening with some of our sponsors. As they shared the “why” of their involvement with the farm, we were reinvigorated to keep going and doing. Thank you to everyone who made this year possible for Healthy Homestead.
On more personal notes, Neal and Michele remain employed off-farm part-time as a result of farm income loss. With their backgrounds in education and medicine they both continue to study and pursue knowledge in the arena where food and plants are medicine, passionately exploring how our farm can serve the community with knowledge and nutrition. Neal is pursuing graduate school coursework to qualify for licensure in counseling (his career 20 years ago), focusing on nutrition and wellness. Michele is delving more into the safety and pharmacological activity of essential oils for their beneficial qualities and its correlation to nutrient dense food.
Jeff and Maggie both balance near full-time work commitments off-farm--Jeff with TotalGrow developing and marketing horticultural lights, and Maggie at Indiana Wesleyan University, freelance photography/writing, and teaching at Kristie Wright School of Dance--with the thrills and craze of raising three kiddos (Raena 6, Reis 4, and Crosby 2). Maggie is also in training to be a Spiritual Director, hoping to continue in our desire to invite others to grow spiritually as well as to pursue physical health.
In addition to his part-time work off-farm, Zack has launched his own business, Reishus Farm and Feed Supply, selling Fertrell animal nutrition and soil amendments (Fertrell is the oldest producer of organic fertilizer in the US), Blue River organic seed, and Gen-Y hitches. All are a perfect complement to the work we do here.
One project for this winter is a website! Michele is reading her church bulletin online and talking about monthly educational e-newsletters, Neal is watching YouTube via his Firestick, and now Healthy Homestead is going online. Watch out--we’re joining you all in this century! Stay tuned for the grand reveal and rebrand as well as regular writings from our pursuits and more.
2019 Sponsorship of Healthy Homestead is also now open. As we shared last year, we are not able to do this alone and ask that those who are able, please join us in our mission to keep our costs affordable for any household, hoping to see good and healthy food in the hands of all people regardless of income level. If you, your business, or someone else local you know might be interested in taking this step of partnership, please let us know! Please see the attached flyer for details.
In all, we are hopeful for this coming growing season. We all remain committed to health--mind, body, and soul. And we’re excited to see you around more as the temps rise above freezing!
See you soon!
Neal, Michele, Zack, Jeff, Maggie, Raena, Reis, and Crosby