• The Homestead Maid, Amy

A letter to a friend

It’s been a while since I’ve actually gotten to have a face-to-face conversation with you. This month marks 16 years since I started Amy’s Meats and it’s been 6 years since I did farmers’ markets, grocery stores and serviced restaurants. I loved the buzz I got from going to market, I loved seeing my fellow farmers and all that they were doing, I loved seeing and talking with all the customers. I loved best, that with a good chunk of our customers we knew them well enough that we often got to visit with their extended family as well when they visited. But, they say, “all good things must come to an end.” I’m not sure I’d say that’s what happened, but life did change, as it should. We added our daughter and Dan left ranching and took a job in the city, and that left me with an opportunity. I had always run the business side of the farm, I was the front wo”man”, I did all the sales and markets and what not. Dan raised the cattle. But at that time the recession also hit, and as young farmers who still relied heavily on the bank… well we hung on as long as we could but ultimately we had to sell our cows. It’s now been 10 years since the beginning of all that…unpleasantness. Well, I take that back, our daughter is now 10 and we’ve added our youngest son to complete our little clan of 6, and I’m glad we have them. We also had the amazing good fortune to find our place in the valley, “with the bad there is good”. Back to this opportunity I had. I’ve been told that I’m a bit stubborn… I rather like to call it “true grit”, determined. A mule is stubborn, when they sit down it is HARD to get them up and going again. So anyway, when Dan went to the city, I really wanted to stay with the land, even if we weren’t going to have the beef cows anymore. So, my Dad helped me get a milk cow and my folks helped get us some laying hens going. Once we moved to the valley and I was no longer commuting from our rented house to our rented farm my folks got us started with our flock of sheep by letting the kids each have an orphan lamb to raise. Since then we’ve added pigs and now I have quite the growing dairy herd and flock of sheep. I’ve always had a garden, but growing in the valley has been both exciting and challenging, it’s a microclimate here in the bottom, and it’s been fascinating to learn how that works. I have been awarded a grant to put up a high tunnel this fall, which I’m hoping, will even out the growing season for me, and possibly extend it too! I like a good challenge, I get that honestly, both of my folks are incredible problem solvers. I love books or stories, I love the wealth of information passed down in books and the stories from those older than I. Have you read the “Little House” stories? They speak to my soul, every happy time and every failed crop or misfortune. I honestly wouldn’t want to go back in time, but I do have a deep drive to be self-reliant. I love not only the idea of full freezers and pantry but I love having that be true. I love creating most anything, and making real food from scratch… and I really love seriously from scratch (i.e. Bread, step 1. plant wheat in the fall, harvest wheat in summer, grind wheat to make flour, now make bread.) AND now I built an outside wood burning stove so I can bake it outside and have artisan breads! Well friend, I need to go do chores. I’ll write again soon. Amy



amy saunders . homesteader . farm share . pork . chicken. beef . eggs . heirloom veggies . milkcow share . camps

 

Everyone needs to eat. On our small family farm we care for and raise our animals naturally through sustainable practices without antibiotics, while offering a year round subscription to our quality meats, so everyday you can prepare your own farm to fork meals.

© 2002-2020 Amy Saunders Amy's Meats at The Homestead

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