Since we began the journey for our first Kickstarter Campaign, we have been lifted up by incredible people. Our #WWOOFers (work-stay guests through Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms), the amazing couple behind Bottle Branding who are telling our story, some of our super cool customers, and others in our agricultural community have voiced their unwavering faith in us, belief in our vision, and confidence in our project. Without people like these, our dreams would be lifeless. We have been overwhelmed with gratitude. This is one of many reasons we are thankful for what we get to do every day. In light of this, this month while our Kickstarter is gaining support we would like to share with you the multitude of reasons we are #thankfultobeafarmer.
Jeremy Raff: “One of the reasons I am most #thankfultobeafarmer is having the opportunity to carry on a legacy that my Grandfather started. With the birth of our son four generations of my family have worked and lived on this farm. I have the opportunity to instill the same values in Wyatt that were taught to me by my Grandfather: Hard work, patience, kindness, attention to detail, and perseverance. I look forward to watching him grow on the farm and taking the same values with him throughout his life; wherever his life leads.”
Kristen Kelley & Andrea Ribolla: “We came to the farm from Indiana and Italy through the WWOOF program. And after a lot of traveling, we were happy to find a place that immediately felt like home. We have learned, worked and had so much fun at Dare 2 Dream. The energy at this farm is so positive between Megan, Jeremy, Wyatt and all the WWOOFers because everyone is committed to being a part of something bigger. This is not just a project, this is not just a farm, this is not just a trip, this is a beautiful place where everyone is encouraged to follow their dreams. We are so thankful to be a part of this. We are thankful to have gained so many lifelong friends. And we are #thankfultobeafarmer.”
Megan Raff: “These smiles are one of the most wonderful things about being a farmer. We raise chickens to bring to homes, schools, and urban farms to keep for eggs, and also as pets. Lots of kids we meet have never even seen chickens; and many of the adults have never owned chickens or experienced them in a small backyard setting. It is a blessing to be a part of the joy that people experience with chickens. This woman in particular was the terminally ill mother of a woman who was trying to bring her the best experience she could for the last months of her life. Thea and her husband transformed their backyard, planted citrus trees, built raised garden beds, and built a chicken coop. This smile is still the most memorable smile for me. Thea’s mom passed away peacefully just a few months after we brought her this group of chickens, and Thea said they became the light of her life. This does my heart so good. This is why I am #thankfultobeafarmer.”
Dylan Timsit: “I came to Dare 2 Dream Farms in October and knew I had arrived at a loving farm when I was greeted with a snuggly hug from a very pregnant Megan. Since then, Wyatt has been born, and my knowledge of farming, specifically gardening, has blossomed. I can’t imagine what life would be like if I hadn’t come here. Megan and Jeremy are extremely generous, nurturing, and give you all the tools and guidance necessary to truly find your niche here on the farm. With absolute confidence I can say I am #thankfultobeafarmer.”
Jeremy Raff: “The success of our first years CSA was beyond our anticipation. We grew food for up to 15 families per week through Summer. The satisfaction of all of the hard work, planning, and coordination coming to fruition is one of the best feelings of accomplishment possible. Knowing that our work on the farm can produce local, organic, fresh, nutritious and beautiful food for our community, our WWOOFers and ourselves is why I am #thankfultobeafarmer.”
Jeremy Raff: “Today we harvested the first round of garlic for the year. Sometimes it’s the simple things that make us#thankfultobeafarmer.”
Jon Schelander-Pugh: “I came to Dare 2 Dream Farms with my wife in February as the last stop on our West Coast WWOOFing trip. I have learned a lot about gardening and chicken raising, and I’ve also learned a lot about myself through my times of reflection while working in the garden and through my interactions with Jeremy, Megan, and my fellow WWOOFers. Through my time here I’ve discovered that, to me, being a farmer is about more than being able to make plants grow; it’s also about connecting and engaging with the people around me in a meaningful way that allows us to grow as people, individually and together. There is joy in the community and joy in the garden, and that’s why I am #thankfultobeafarmer.”
Megan Raff: “These beautiful #powerwomen are two reasons I am #thankfultobeafarmer. I have met tons of wonderful people in the agricultural world, but these two have captured my gratitude and adoration. They have both become forces in the #greenliving community, and made huge strides with the work they’ve done with their respective businesses. Jen Boulden (@jenboulden pictured right) brings you practical light-green living ideas through Jenbtv.com and Linda Ly (Garden Betty pictured left) is author of Gardenbetty.com blog and the new CSA Cookbook! They have each inspired me and also lifted me up in so many ways. I see them as mentors but I am also so grateful to count them among my friends.”
Megan Raff: “We get to work with super cute fluff balls on a weekly basis and teach other people how to do it too! It’s a little bit of springtime happiness all year round. Cute factor is one of many reasons I am #thankfultobeafarmer.”
Heather Gordon: “During my second year of university I found myself lacking direction and a sense of purpose. I took a break from school seeking meaningful work and I was fortunate to find it at Dare 2 Dream Farms, a place that quickly became a second home. Farming with Megan and Jeremy Raff has taught me the importance of growing food sustainably, creative problem solving to the many challenges of small scale agriculture, and the joy of collaborating with others. The other WWOOFers on the farm have inspired me and given me hope that more people will find their way back to a harmonious and deliberate way of life. Each night as we sit down to a family dinner, prepared from food we grew together, I am reminded why I’m #thankfultobeafarmer.”
Megan Raff: “Farming to us is more than growing crops and livestock. We also try our best to grow future farmers, leaders, teammates, and a community. We work and live alongside our WWOOFers, cook and eat together every night; celebrate birthdays and milestones for each other; and enjoy holidays together. We host 8-12 work-stay guests at all times, for at least a month and sometimes for years. Almost 90 people have passed through here, 8 have even come back a second time. Some groups mesh really well, others are harder. Some people experience great transformations. Others make huge impacts on our farm and our hearts. It’s fun to capture group photos like this when the group is full of extraordinary people. We look back every once in a while and reminisce about our memories and the wonderful people that have been a part of our lives. These WWOOFers, thanks to @wwoofusa, are a huge reason we are #thankfultobeafarmer. We are thankful for their contributions and their friendships. When it gets really hard to say goodbye, we remind ourselves of the gigantic network of awesome people we’ve built all over the world and dream of the travel plans that will take us to visit them.”
Jeremy Raff: “Creating places of beauty where none existed before is so good for the soul. In the past years we have worked hard to create micro ecosystems and our reward is beautiful grass, flowers, insects, birds, and veggies. Thousands of bees visit our garden everyday. Having the vision of creating beautiful spaces and see it come to fruition is why I am#thankfultobeafarmer.”
Alan Callaham: “I wasn’t a farmer when I first arrived at Dare 2 Dream Farms almost two years ago. But after my first summer volunteering, I knew I wanted to be. Jeremy and Megan provided me with a huge opportunity when we made a plan to expand into organic produce and allowed me to sign on to return the following year to help start and run the gardens. Since then I’ve found true passion in working the land with many incredible people to provide the local area with fresh, delicious produce. There is so much joy in harvesting and washing a rainbow of tender carrots with great friends, then delivering those carrots to a customer that day. So much care, sweat, and love goes in to the garden, and that passion I’ve found and the passion I see in others is why I’m #thankfultobeafarmer.”
Ready to get on board with our project? Find us here at Kickstarter.com! There’s lots of awesome rewards… get yours by April 16!