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Some say it can't be done... we're proving them wrong

Photo by Erica Wagner, 2015

When people say "you can't make a living from farming" I am always disheartened. People believe the stories they tell themselves. And why do people feel so compelled to 'only' make money from growing vegetables/grain/animals/etc? Is there an award out there for that? For limiting ourselves in our creativity and passion? We make a majority of our income from growing vegetables, but we each have other passions that also lead to income generation. Personally, I am also a birth doula. I support families during pregnancy and childbirth and LOVE doing it. I'm not getting rich doing either thing, but the satisfaction they bring me, the balance they provide in working outside, with my hands, producing amazing food for my community and the emotional process I help parents through in one of the most intimate and spectacular moments of their life. I feel whole and complete doing both 'jobs.' 

So why do we feel the need as farmers to judge one another on how we each choose to make a living. I am so fortunate to have no one to answer to when figuring out how to pay the bills, I work hard, sometime being pulled in multiple directions, trying to figure out the best balance for me in the moment. As for Greg, he has found happiness working alongside his best friend Isaak, who we decided could make our farming venture more fun, more productive, and more creative. We hope to make more money with him on board, but for this first season together as a trio, we're pretty darn happy to grow food together, have some good laughs, and continue to find out where each of our passions may take us. Of course, we each need to make money, but we have each committed to living a lifestyle that is simple and uncomplicated by the daily barrage of advertising, telling us what we need to buy next. We have lived this intentionally meager life for so long now, I can't imagine needing more money to live the life I want to live. Its the intention we set for our life and our business. Money isn't a bad thing, but we've chosen to not let it dictate to us how we should live our life. Follow your bliss. Take a stand for what you believe. 

If your interested in my work as a birth doula, you can find more information here.



2015 CSA: A New Season of Vegetables

As we sit in what could very well be a false start to spring, we continue to dream, plan, revise and begin. Even though we have been absent from your daily vegetable regime we still continue to farm? The winter comes with its own work and daily tasks. Snow = shoveling hoop houses. Below Freezing Temps = Hauling water 2-3 times a day for chickens and rabbits. December + January = seed orders and equipment purchases. February = THE BEGINNING. Its cyclical. We may not be hauling our wares to farmers markets, but we continue to make sales of storage crops to CSA members, restaurants and the Moscow Food Coop. 

We are opening our CSA now to encourage you to think about where your food comes from during our leanest season financially. I'm sure many of you are dreaming of warm summer days, fresh tomatoes and heaps of green salads. So, let's get started...

We are trying something new in 2015. A sliding scale CSA (with a minimum amount of course). Think of this as the tip jar at your favorite restaurant or coffee shop. Doesn't your local farmer deserve a little extra? Don't you love the freshness you get from local food? Want to recognize the hard work? Blood? Sweat? Tears?! It is so hard sometimes to raise the price of food because we live in a country that does not highly value food in general. That's why we are so, so, so fortunate to have CSA members who do love the fresh, chemical free food they get each week and are willing to pay a little extra for the personal service. (Right?!) So, here's your chance to help change the food system created around Federal welfare for farmers and support your local, industry changing, anti-corporate, fresh food purveyors. 

You can sign up for a CSA share now and pay just the minimum amount if that's what you can afford OR pay a little extra knowing that Deep Roots Farm will be able to continue working hard, growing good food, and be able to buy our home (YES!! That's what we're doing with this little extra cash!!), bring on a full-time farming partner (Isaak Julye, if you don't already know Isaak you might recognize him from years of cashiering at Tonnemakers at the Moscow Farmers Market) and grow our business even more in 2015. Join us...


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Joel Salatin & I

Marci in the field 2013. University of Idaho photo.

Yesterday we attended the Idaho Center for Sustainable Agriculture symposium in Nampa, ID. We were fortunate to be asked to give a workshop on beginning farmer topics along with information about low cost hoophouses and season extension. We had never given a presentation of such length and were a bit nervous about filling the time. But as we created our presentation, it came with ease, these were things we were so well versed in and so passionate about that filling up the hour seemed less daunting and more like too short of a session! As the room began to fill and we saw the faces of young farmers being reflected back to us, it became clear that people want this information, they are craving guidance on starting a farm. As we were beautifully introduced by a fellow young farmer, Jessica McAleese from Swift River Farm in Salmon, ID, all of the anxiety and jitters I felt beforehand melted away. I was among my tribe in that moment. I was talking to friends.

I look forward to breaking down the information we talked about yesterday and fleshing out some of the topics we skimmed the surface of here on our blog. Right now I am so inspired because the talk we gave yesterday was perfectly mirrored by the ever honest and passionate Joel Salatin. His 10 principles for starting a farm talk were exactly, on the money, what we covered earlier that day. SAY WHAT?! Did we plan that? Did we confer ahead of time? Sure, we had a great conversation the evening before and we talked with him about what we were doing and why we were there. He knew our talk was specific to young farmers, but the word for word list he gave was the same list I had in my head. So what does that mean? It means that we farmers are on the right track. It means that when we move to action with passion and attention, big things happen. It means that we are a tribe. We are a community that should continue to rise each other up as we do the hard work of growing food for our communities with integrity and love. 

I look forward to talking more with each of you reading this, to strengthen the threads of connection between us, to move knowledge of passion back and forth with intention. Please join us in this journey.  

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We're teaching a workshop & Joel Salatin!

We're really excited to share with you that we have been asked to teach a workshop at the Idaho Center for Sustainable Agriculture's annual symposium this November 18th in Nampa. We will have one hour to talk about beginning farmers, urban farming, low cost hoop houses and season extension, AND backyard chickens. It'll be a jam packed session, but we think it'll be exciting and worth every minute. Joel Salatin is the keynote speaker for the event. We farm very differently but have many of the same feelings about farming the way we do. 

So if you or someone you know would like to attend this awesome one day event, please go to the eventbrite site for details on tickets and more! See you there!!