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How the farm has changed our marriage

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This week, we hosted 3 separate tours on the farm (phew, that's a new record for us!). So, it's fair to say that this week, we spent a lot of time sharing about the progress we're making here.  We moved a 200-year old barn from down to the road to our property, we've transformed brush and brambles into beautiful healthy pastures, we've improved our farm systems and grown our business faster than we ever could have expected. We are proud of these accomplishments, for sure. And yet, what is probably more impressive and less obvious to even our closest friends and family is all the ways the farm has changed us. 

Our bodies were probably the first thing to change. Callused hands and body strength came within a few weeks. Aches and pains from the near constant physical exertion came within a few a months. Every now and then, there are the blisters, cracking skin, bruises, or tick bites to attend to. Yoga has become a required activity,  instead of a leisure activity.

The other changes are more subtle. As two world travelers who used to spend their savings on overseas adventures, I thought we would eventually get stir-crazy staying put. The truth is, that we find more joy in being at home with our animals than we ever would have imagined.  

We are natural introverts and usually re-charge by spending time alone. But the farm has brought us out of our skins and given us this incredible opportunity to share, educate and inspire. The farm pushes us to show up and be present in our community, even when our deepest instincts tell us to go it alone.

The farm has affected our marriage in ways that we probably can't fully comprehend just yet. Running a business with the person you love most in this world isn't always easy. But it has brought us closer, helped us understand each other more wholly, and appreciate each other's strengths and weaknesses and limitations. It has taught us how to listen to one another and honor those hunches (or gut feelings) we get in the middle of the night that a fence is off or a pig might be farrowing (farm lingo for delivering piglets).

If what Eckert Tolle says is true, and the energy you put out in the world comes back to you, then I think we are in for a pretty spectacular life together here at Stonecrop Farm. Thanks for being on this journey with us. 

Your Farmers, 
Greg & Jenney

PS- We absolutely love hearing from you! What did you think of this newsletter and what would you like to hear more about in future newsletters?

Falling in Love Making Salsa, Kimchi and Apple sauce? Yep.

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My Mom always cans a few things every year and taught me the basics when I was 12 or 13 years old. Unlike my siblings that had zero interest in this hobby, I loved the whole process. Getting to spend one-on-one time with my Mom early in the morning when everyone else in the house was still sleeping was so special.  We never took on anything too ambitious, usually simple jams or sauces, but the final product was always spectacular. 

Then, I met Greg and our passion for good food has led us to all sorts of ambitious food-preserving adventures.  I remember the first time Greg and I EVER cooked together. It was right after we graduated college back in 2008. Greg was apprenticing on a farm and had almost no free time, but for some reason, we decided that we wanted to can. He had never canned before and neither of us had much experience with cooking in general. But, we stayed up all night in my parents kitchen chopping, simmering, and canning fresh salsa.  I was pretty sure I loved him months before this experience, but nerding out over salsa made it all the more clear that we were just right for each other. 

A few years later, we decided to branch out from salsas and try kimchi (a spicy Korean fermented veggie dish). I thought we would be start with a few jars and then Greg came home from the veggie farm he was working on with 10 cabbages and boxes of radishes and carrots.  We made a HUGE quantity of spicy Kimchi in large ceramic crocks that we acquired from a friend.  Everything was going great, until my fingers started tingling and I realized that I didn't wear any gloves to cut up the hot peppers (rookie mistake). For an entire week, my hands were literally on fire. There were tears and large quantities of aloe vera.  All the while, our apartment smelled like old socks due to the massive amount of fermenting vegetables sitting in our living room. But boy, was that kimchi good. Mission accomplished. 

Then there was that time with the apple sauce. We were almost there. We pressed the apples through our food mill, the sauce was made, the jars were filled and in the boiling water bath. We were on the last step and as we pulled the jars out of the canner, the sauce exploded out and over the edges of the jars and some of jars themselves even started cracking. Apparently,  we didn't get enough of the air bubbles out? It was another lesson learned the hard way.  

Our food preservation skills have improved over time by trial and error, as you can tell.  Nowadays, we consider ourselves proficient at jams, salsas, kimchi and sauces, and it is still one of our favorite ways to spend quality time together.  

We want to make preserving ginger and turmeric really easy for you, so we made a storage guide!  We're happy to report that this process is far less complicated than anything described in this email. The guide is AWESOME and not to be missed.  We'll send it to you tomorrow morning, just in time for our first harvest this weekend!

Your Farmers, 
Greg and Jenney

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