Saturday, July 12, 2014

Farm Front Gate Always Open


When we lived in Nevada City for over 30 years, our house was located at the very end of a dirt road which was about 1 mile off of a main road with only a few houses close by us. If someone came to the door, it was because they were either lost; a relative; a friend or someone who you had arranged and knew they were coming at a specific time.  Nobody ever came by to just "drop by" to say hi.
After moving and farming in Gridley, we started to get back that sense of old fashioned neighbors stopping by to just say "Hi".  It took some getting used to having people ring the front door bell.  Frank and I still jump in our seats when the bell rings.

People will just stop by, saying they were in the area and wanted to know if we had tomatoes or eggs; or a neighbor who got our mail by mistake; or the neighbor's kids coming over to sell Girl Scout cookies or Boy Scouts.     Whenever I am out front raking or working on fruit stand, people always stop who are driving by to ask about produce or the house, or just to introduce themselves to us.  Just being "friendly".  What a shock that is now adays!!! 
The power of food has opened up our gate to so many wonderful people we would never have had a chance to meet.  The power of something simple, like us raising chickens and putting out an "Egg" sign.  We get more calls asking about eggs than any other item we sell and people are always so nice and understanding if the hens aren't laying because of the heat or they have to wait for another few days to get a dozen.  They are so appreciative, so happy to be able to buy something so fresh, so "natural".

Living in a small community, we are connected to people, even if by a simple thread of a roadside stand; some chicken eggs; love of flowers; love of old houses.  We were talking to someone at the hardware store the other day and Frank explained to the people where we lived.  They replied that they knew who we were, telling us we were the ones who moved into the "Haven's" old house; have the roadside stand; sell eggs; sell produce; always have decorations on my gate or front door; blah, blah, but in a very nice way.  It still surprises us how much people notice or know about us-strangers.
What I realize is that when we are a farmer, especially a local farmer, we belong to people; we are connected to people through food; they are proud that we are a small farm trying to make a living; they are proud that we live in their neighborhood; they support us, they like what we are doing.
And we are so proud and happy to have found this wonderful place called Gridley to call home and to have re-discovered the notion of "neighbors"; "community" good "friends".  Stop by sometime, the gate is always open. Stay out of the heat
 

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