Now I was raised on a dairy farm, but we didn’t really have to build it. Sure we were there for the building of the calf barn and the up keep of the many other buildings, but most of it was there. The cows, the equipment, the buildings, the general and for the most part efficient layout was already there. It didn’t seem like there was much to it. As I have gotten older I have learned to appreciate all the work that goes into farming (and I mean all that I knew about). Since then I have married a city boy and moved to a <1/4 acher lot in the middle of suburbia with one dog and two outside cats. Farming and the dedication it takes are far from my everyday reality.
Recently a few of our college friends from NNU have had a dream of having a sustaining farm, raising their own food both animals and produce, reconnecting with the simpler life. They bought a blank slate, 87 achers with a house, one smaller shed/barn, and one out building shop that would work as a store front. They moved 2000 miles from their family and friends to do so. As crazy as all of this sounds neither of them were raised on a farm or have any farm experience. We have witnessed the amount of daily work and research that they are putting in to try to get their farm up and running. This totally blows my mind but I can relate to the dream and wanting a different life for my family. For us, our trip, we felt like it was a nudging by the Holy Spirit. Something we could not not do. For Pam and Kelby Olde Haven Farm is the same thing. A nudging = full on push to step out of their comfort zone to this “simpler” life. They have accomplished a lot in the time they have been in Maine so far (it will be two years in April) with two pig paddocks, goats and sheep in pasture, a whole host of free range turkeys, chickens, ducks, and guinies. As well as a large chicken house and another for the chickens raised for meat or “meat birds” the bones are up for a hay barn infact we stacked 4 months supply of hay in the top of the hay barn yesterday. It is far from finished but will still serve it’s main purpose for the farm this winter.
The learning curve has been steep, expensive, and will continue to be steep for some years to come. They have recently started a social campaign to raise awareness of farming and it’s future. From a recent FaceBook post by Olde Haven Farm,
“Why you should care about farming:
The number of farmers in America keeps declining and the farmers that are left are getting older. The average age for a farmer in the US is 58.3 (2012 Census statistics). That number has continually risen over the past 30 years. While it may seem like farming is trendy right now, the statistics show that the number of new farmers dropped 20% from 2007. It’s not clear what contributes most to the lack of younger farmers. Perhaps it’s the notion of hard work that scares people, or how difficult it seems to be to make a profit off a farm, or maybe it has more to do with the big farming corporations that exist today. But unless younger people get involved in farming, we risk losing farms all together.”
You can read more about their farm and efforts on their website oldhavenfarm.com or follow them on FaceBook. If you are interests in helping them build their farm visit them at project Olde Haven Farm https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/project-olde-haven-farm#/