Anyone who has ever started a business (however small or large) knows the extraordinary amount of effort and sacrifice it takes to get that baby off the ground and running. Our journey into farming began by educating ourselves about how our food is produced, which then led into taking responsibility for producing some of our own food. Hunting and processing deer, acquiring laying hens for fresh eggs and raising a batch of pastured broiler chickens on a small patch of rented land lead us to where we are today – Two Sparrows Farm.
To achieve that dream, Dan took a job working 70+ hours a week for 10 months to save the money we needed for a down payment and we hunted for a small, affordable place for almost the same amount of time, while raising our newborn daughter Cecilia.
Thinking ourselves a bit handy and a little short on cash, we landed our fixer-upper in Lowell and have been working ever since we moved in just 4 months ago to accommodate our growing farm family of steers, sheep, and chickens. This has included animal chores, rigging electrical lines to barns, and even going over a month with no (or minimal) heat to put our money into the dream that is this farm. The dream that is this way of life.
Our goal is to start small with the farm and not “outrun our headlights” by taking on any more debt than our small student loan and mortgage. Debt has a way of enslaving us in a box that we must work within in order to pay back that money – debt does not allow for creativity, ingenuity, and innovation.
Which is why Start Garden is such a blessing. If you’re unfamiliar with Start Garden click here to read more. The basic idea starts with a lot money, divided into small amounts, going into start-up businesses (some of which will succeed and some which will fail). Each week from Noon on Thursday to Noon on the next Thursday, ideas compete for $5,000. One idea is chosen by Start Garden and the other is chosen by popular votes, or in this case, “popular endorsement.” Pretty cool, right?
Well, here’s our attempt for $5,000 cash, deposited right into our farm’s bank account: http://startgarden.com/ideas/detail/two-sparrows-farm
What can we do with $5,000? More than you might think, actually…
- 80 laying hens – cost of birds plus feed until egg production age
- 250 broiler chickens – cost of birds plus feed and necessary processing equipment
- A pregnant sow (pig) and feed for her and piglets to come
- Electric fencing & charger for grass-fed beef production on 12 acres
- 2-3 more grass-fed steers from local herd for slaughter in Fall 2013
How can you help? Endorse us on Start Garden. (http://startgarden.com/ideas/detail/two-sparrows-farm) Share with family and friends. Patronize the local and sustainable food system. Change the world.