A farm found us {with photos}

The day Nathan penciled down Need More Acres as our farm name (over 8 years ago) became the day we began to dream that one day we would have a need more for more acres and the ability to make it so.  At the time we thought it would happen fairly soon-in the next year possibly.  But we had a lot of growing up to do, kids to have, lessons to learn and balance to find before we were offered this gift.  We realize that what we learned along the way during the prayers for a farm was the true gift, but this farm that found us is in many ways putting together our gifts, the needs of our community and the ability to learn from the vast history of Kentucky family farms. Farming for us is a way to spend our days well alongside our children and engaged within our community just as it’s been done for centuries.
Over the last couple of years we have learned that one of the main obstacles for the local food movement is the ability for farmers to be able to grow and distribute their food directly to their community.  As governmental regulations related to sanitary requirements increased in the early to mid 1900’s fewer farmers produced food for direct sale to consumers .  We all know what this has done to our local farmers, the food they grow and our communities.  In order to bring a piece of that back we hope to become a model that others can look to that is community driven, inclusive, multi faceted and financially viable.  We’re currently applying for a Kiva loan (that you can lend to ) for an on farm certified kitchen.  We plan to prepare food that can be purchased by our neighbors, customers at the farmers market, schools, restaurants, food pantries and retail markets.  We will also be expanding the opportunities on our farm to beginning farmers and local food entrepreneurs who need a small business incubator.

Our new farm is 20 acres just a few miles out of Bowling Green.  Sitting on the farm is a home built in the 1830’s with a facility already plumbed for a certified kitchen.  This has presented an opportunity for our family that we are very much looking forward to.  We cannot wait to open up our home to folks across the state to learn about the history of Kentucky family farms and the food that has and will sustain us.  We will be looking to each of you for support and encouragement along the way.

If you would like to give to our Kiva loan you can use this link.  You can lend as little as $5 and you will receive your money back to keep or loan again.

When I was first introduced to the idea of local food as a main source for nutrition there were a lot of comments about French food and Paris kitchens (aka fancy food).  In many ways that discredits the food that Kentucky farmers grow.   This is Kentucky food, grown on farms right here in Kentucky and eaten by folks like me and like you.  We want our farm to be a place that digs into the history of Kentucky farms, the division of prosperity, barriers that have separated us as a culture from the food grown in our backyard and the opportunities that were lost, but not forgotten.  I think about the food that was grown on this farm, the women who gave birth here, the men who tended the fields or went off to war only to be brought back only for burial in the family cemetery.  We want to dig into ways this farm can help overcome the obstacles that have been created while being thankful for the modern resources that are available to us.

“It is clear; then, that a family farm is not just a set of things, relationships, and practices but a set of values.  The family farm is more than soil and livestock.  It is also traditional meaning and values attached to the land.”  Food and Everyday Life, Van Willigen & Van Willigen