{Friday Finds} Farm Hopping

Friday Finds: A weekly round-up of links to products, images, articles, or projects that are inspiring us.  If you would like to share a Friday Find of your own, just add it below the post for all of us to discover and enjoy!

Chive Flower

Rosa Multiflora

Virtual farm hopping, that is.  Brian and I draw an awful lot of inspiration and encouragement from other farmers – both in personal relationships and virtual ones.  We take to heart bits of their farm practice or philosophy, or even their aesthetic and plan to apply that to our farm here.  One of the loveliest things about the internet is our ability to virtually visit places that we would otherwise never even know about.

Here are some that have helped to form our vision for our farm.

Misty Brook Farm – our friends the Holmes’.  They taught us a lot about farming, and rented pasture from us for our first couple of years.  They have now  moved to Maine where they work a single farm (instead of five!).  We love their approach to farming.  They aim to produce a complete diet on their farm (vegetables/fruits, meat, dairy, eggs, and grains).  They have a really neat CSA model that we are inspired by

Miracoli Farm – Owned by our friends, the Sinclairs.  They are striving toward many of the same agricultural goals we are, but we are especially inspired by their care for military spouses.  They are working to create a place where military spouses can retreat and refresh.  Such an important ministry to the most often overlooked members of the military.

Ballymaloe – Stunningly beautiful Irish farm.  Proof that farming doesn’t have to be messy.  Well, it has to be messy, but the farm doesn’t need to look a mess.  I am really inspired by their cookery school and farm stay program.  They teach participants how to eat what is available on the farm.  Also a whole-diet farm.

Norfolk Lavender – One of our favourite places to visit when we were in England.  Located on the wash in Norfolk, about an hour from RAF Mildenhall, and just a stone’s throw from the Queen’s residence at Sandringham, and the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.  Because of this beautiful place, we have always wanted to grow lavender.  Many of the varieties that they grow will grow here.  I remember Brian being completely smitten with their big copper still, used to make essential oils.  Now, they also have a farm raising heritage breeds and heirloom vegetables using organic principles.  Sweet.  It’s pretty much perfect.

Regina Laudis – Although we haven’t been (very little excuse since they are so close), what the sisters are doing here on their farm is amazing.  You already know how I love Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries, and I love their philosophy of stability and sustainability.  I also love how each of the sisters is encouraged to grow in her gifts.  Fantastic.  It makes for excellence in all they do.  I am particularly inspired by their preservation of heritage livestock breeds and Sister Noella’s cheesemaking enterprise.  Oh, and those denim work habits?  Yes.  Totally want one.

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