Born and raised (3rd generation) in Northfield, MN I have always known the unique and entrancing qualities of the home of Cows, Colleges, and Contentment. When Aaron and I got jobs in Northfield in 2006, I was somewhat reluctant to return home. What does it mean about me if I move back to Northfield shortly after college? What will my friends say? Everyone will know me! Ahhhh!
After a few months in Northfield, I realized that moving back to the place where you grew up means many more great things than negative. That has become more and more apparent to me as we have started our farm. Some examples below:
- Aaron’s first boss was the husband of my pre-school teacher. I idolized her then and still do. He was integral in helping us find the land we purchased for our farm. He also introduced us to our now close friends, Ben and Erin of Open Hands Farm (our soon to be farm neighbors)!
- Our land is nestled in Waterford Township, a township that is dedicated to preserving farmland. When we walked into our first township board meeting, a member of the township board, said, “Ah! You are Margaret and Frank’s granddaughter! Is your dad Mike or Tom?” This instant connection eased any worries we had about the questions we had to ask the township.
Beyond my familial connections, the community we have become a part of in Northfield has aided us immensely in promoting/educating others about our farm and acquiring farms necessitates.
- As president of the local food co-op, Just Food, Aaron has fostered relationships with many local foodies. One of these relationships brought a 1989 Ford Ranger into our lives – a farm truck! For an absurdly low price, Bob and Susannah Ciernia sold us their truck. We are eternally grateful.
- Late last year (2009), we were awarded a grant from the Ron Griffith Young Leaders Fund to attend The Land Stewardship Project’s Farm Beginnings class. Learning about the process of becoming successful farmers was and is integral in starting our farm.
There are so many more connections, big and small, we realize or encounter everyday. We are so appreciative to the members of our community who are helping make Little Hill Berry Farm a reality.