Follow by Email

Friday, March 22, 2013

Our Farm's First WWOOFers

As a couple of young farmers, we get a lot done during the day. This year we have been so blessed that we are staying really busy and we've almost reached the point where we couldn't continue to move forward with our business because we were spending nearly all of our 7 day work weeks on farm management and sales. In November, we visited a farm in Santa Barbara owned by a couple friends of ours, Kevin and Lauren Hanson, who are trying to revive an old avocado orchard. They had a group young, spunky, and passionate people out there working happily to help them reach their goals - WWOOFers. I had heard of the program, and loved the idea, but never imagined we had the capacity to open up our farm for work-stays. Kevin gave us the rundown and it sounded too good to be true. We dragged our feet of course, not sure how to provide them with a place to stay, and then got a call from a couple of women who wanted to come work. We threw together an old motorhome with cute thrift store finds, and voila! Jeremy picked them up from another farm in Carmel Valley. The were soon after joined by their friend.

We have had such an amazing experience with them! Since they are our first WWOOFers, we are delighted to share it with you. For those of you who are not familiar with WWOOF - it stands for WorldWide Opportunities on Organic Farms. It is a work-stay program designed to connect people with host farms in a mutually beneficial working relationship where knowledge and skills are shared. The program has a chapter in almost any country you can think of, including WWOOF-USA. This is where we get to thank the WWOOF Organization as a whole and WWOOF-USA specifically for creating an environment rich in knowledge and growth that grooms our future generations of farmers, or even just our future generations of responsible citizens!!

Our first WWOOFers came to California from Georgia. Their names are Katie, Brooke, and Chaz - and they have been so helpful! Katie is excellent at gardening, Brooke has a great eye for photography, and Chaz has learned he has a knack for construction. They've all learned to drive manual transmission, how to care for chickens, build coops, and so much more.

We've also had a great time with them: homemade pasta nights, a seven mile hike with the puppies, corned beef and cabbage for St. Patty's Day, getting baby pigs, sightseeing trips to Los Angeles, and game nights. And tomorrow morning we will be milking goats in Santa Barbara with one of our favorite people, Emma Fowler with the Isla Vista Food Co-op, and catching a Jalama Burger on the way home to catch our first hatch of Lavender Orpingtons and Olive Eggers for the year. Life is good. The girls will be with us until March 28th, and Chaz will be here until April 10th. Then we will be looking for our next set of WWOOFers... any volunteers?

For fun, here is a peek at one of the pictures Brooke took with our Canon 50D.


And, as I promised! The winner for the Free T-Shirt from our last blog is Tammy! Please email me with your address and preferred size, and it will ship to you on April 10th. If you didn't win, you have until the end of the month to Pre-Order your Dare 2 Dream Farm T-Shirts! 

Thanks for your support everyone!


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

New Free T-Shirt Giveaway!

We just created our first farm t-shirts! A great friend of ours, Imad Bolotok (a.k.a. Frosty back in the good days), has been doing some incredible work developing his own graphic design company If Man Is Five (IFMANISFIVE.com - it's worth a look!). We asked him to create a new work shirt for us - and thought, "what the heck! let's have him make something fun too!" And he did. And it's beyond awesome!!

We have now officially created our farm tagline: "Know It, Grow It, Love It". 

And we are pleased to present to you, our first t-shirts! A way to show off your love for backyard chickens, urban farming, and local food, or to just flaunt your good green side and your urban farming dream (the t-shirt is green - see what I did there? lol). 

Without further ado...

Dare 2 Dream Farms Know It, Grow It, Love It T-shirt
Know It, Grow It, Love It T-Shirt

Dare 2 Dream Farms "Change" T-shirt
Dare 2 Dream Farms "Change" Shirt - Front

Dare 2 Dream Farms "Change" T-shirt
Dare 2 Dream Farms "Change" Shirt - Back

Let us know what you think! We will be Giving Away a free shirts for every 25 comments on our blog. To Enter To Win:

1: Like our Facebook Page at http://www.facebook.com/Dare2DreamFarms
2: Comment on this blog post.

Giveaway Ends 3/21/13 Eligible entries chosen at random and will be notified via email, if provided, or on our 3/21/13 blog posting. Winners will have until 4/1/13 to claim giveaway. 



Winners will be notified at random

Monday, March 4, 2013

Scrambled Eggs: Insight into the Egg Industry, and Encouragement for Backyard Farmers

This video by the The Cornucopia Institute is incredible. Cage-free eggs or organic eggs sound great in principle but, as we suspected, the commercialized egg industry cuts corners on the quality of life for their mass production hens. The requirement for "outdoor access" is a term left open to a broad range of interpretations, and mass scale egg producers take advantage of that. This video is less than 5 minutes and really hits home about why we farm the way we do - and why we encourage you to be your own source for eggs by raising chickens with all the love and care they deserve.



In the appendix to their report "Scrambled Eggs: Separating Factory Farm Egg Production from Authentic Organic Agriculture", The Cornucopia Institute discusses the three approaches to organic egg production (pasture-based, permanent housing, and industrial organics) and the corners cut by industrial organic egg producers including that "chickens don't like to go outside." It exposes rogue animal welfare labels and identifies the good ones. If you can't raise your own chickens this is a great read to help you identify the best egg sources for you or your family.

For more information on our pasture-based farming, you can visit our website to Meet the Flock or read About the Farm for pictures of our mobile housing and chicken pastures.