Years ago, while commuting to work, I had an idea for a store that would only carry locally produced products. I’d call it “Miles Away”. I’d paint the four walls with maps of the four directions around my location (I was living near the four corners area in Colorado at the time). Each product label would indicate who made the product and how many miles away it had come from. I almost had to pull off the road I was so excited by the idea.
Alas, the cost of real estate and the climate in the area, which dictated a very short growing season and only a small number of producers, put the kibosh on the idea. But the name, and my interest in the local foods movement, stuck with me.
I come from a long line of farmers and teachers. A great great grandfather on my mother’s side listed his occupation as “gardener” near Yorkshire in England in a census. My father’s family were homesteaders in Montana after emigrating from Germany. One grandmother was a teacher and later owned her own flower shop for 20+ years. My father taught navy men how to fly off of (and more importantly, land on) aircraft carriers and was always interested in local foods, wherever he was stationed.
I grew up with a huge garden (which I had no interest in – I would eat only about four vegetables and all my parents ever wanted me to do was help weed – note to parents – don’t do that to your kids). It took a while for the genetics and role models to kick in, but in my early 20’s I started to cook and garden. In the late 80’s, I started to study and understand the connection between humans and the environment.
I eventually completed a degree in biology, and have been learning and sharing my love of nature through writing and teaching ever since. Over the years (and many moves later) I’ve taught myself how to cook, preserve, garden, raise animals, make soap, make wines and beer, and generally be self-reliant. I’ve even learned to like most vegetables.
Moving to the Inland Northwest has provided me an opportunity to put all this knowledge to use in a new way. With the support of a wonderful husband, the plan is to farm for real, selling what we produce, and sharing the trials, tribulations, and successes along the way.
Our goal is to run an environmentally sound, economically viable and community conscious small farm. In my ideal world, my customers would know how to grow their own food and live sustainably, and I’d be out of business. Here is where we share that knowledge, and as always, we strive to let nature lead the way.
Welcome to Miles Away Farm.
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Miles Away Farm Blog © 2017