Function Over Form

November 1, 2016

Whenever you hear someone talking about a small family farm, what comes to mind?  What do you imagine Nature’s Roots Farm is like when you first hear and think about it?  What do you think a small farm should look like?  Do you imagine rolling hills, white picket fences, a red barn with white trim, grain silos standing tall next to the barn, and open pastures filled with cattle and no trees in sight?  This little description is what you usually find on dairy, eggs, and poultry product packages at any neighborhood grocer, but is that what farms really look like?  Maybe conventional farms who are more concerned about aesthetics than producing wholesome healthy food.  I can surely tell you that you will not find that here at Nature’s Roots Farm. 

We have had quite a bit of visitors since we have opened shop here in the past six months.  I can tell you from my experience with visitors here at the farm that some people are shocked right when they pull into our driveway.  Actually most visitors end up calling us saying they can't find our place and the address they pulled into was abandoned.  I usually laugh and get ready to see the shocked looked on people’s faces as they step outside the car and realize that Nature’s Roots Farm is nothing like they expected.  And no, we do not have white picket fences and probably never will.  And no, we do not have a red barn with grain silos and we never will.  And no we do not have open pastures filled with cattle and we probably never will.  But what we are working on establishing here is having a food oasis with all parts of the farm working interdependently to create harmony within our ecosystem.  The cool thing is that we do not need aesthetics to have a harmonious balance within our farm and to produce nutrient dense food.  It is about the “Function” of all moving parts, not the “Form” or the look of the land.

What most people look at as an impossible and insanely crazy mission to establish a farm on a piece of land that has been uninhabited for 20 years, we envision as opportunity and prosperity through establishing our farm.  We see hope for a healthy tomorrow as we build our small farm community here at our location and through the relationships we establish with all of our patrons.  Success, believe it or not, takes a lot work and failures.  The cool thing about farming and trying progressive methods of agriculture is that you have countless opportunities to learn.  Learning does not mean succeeding everyday.  One thing I despise about conventional learning institutions these days and when I was in school is that they push perfection and put so much stress on children and young adults to pass courses.  So much stress that it takes the fun out of learning.  Failures are considered unacceptable these days and that mindset is just unrealistic.  Failing is fun!  That's when life lessons really become clear, in times of failures.  You should try it some time.   

So at our farm, we have focused on the functioning pieces of the operation, and have not focused on making things look good.  Just because the cover of a book looks brand new, doesn’t mean it is a good book.  It looks new for a reason, because no one is reading it.  In six months, we have established a fully operational farm with weekly deliveries, a strong customer base that have similar values of healthy living, a multi-functioning piggie operation, a small scale dairy operation, and countless other projects that are adding to functionality of a interdependent farm operation. 

I would encourage all of you to schedule a tour at Nature’s Roots Farm so that you can see the development of our enterprise.  The first customers that came to visit when we opened have had the privilege to see all our efforts come together week after week and month after month.  The awesome thing is that we haven't even scratched the surface with the development of our farm.  Everyday we give thanks and praises for the opportunity to produce healthy food for everyone to eat.  

Angela Bowen

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