A productive farm in harmony with the earth, humanity, and ourselves.
At the heart of Winter Green Farm are the ideals that inform our direction and action. In striving to implement our vision it is our aim to be a positive influence in the world. We recognize that as both our individual and collective consciousness evolve and as the world transforms, so our farm will change to be able to address unfolding challenges and opportunities before us. In this light, we expect the following ideals, as well as the vision of our farm, to be fluid and evolve. Such is the nature of life.
We recognize that foundational to being able to move toward this vision, that our farm must be healthy financially. Without financial health, our ability to allocate resources toward our vision is impaired. Therefore we make a priority of having sound financial management, including appropriate accounting and analysis of financial data. We will strive for profitability to insure steady progress toward our aims.
We trust that we are planting some seeds of value that will grow and flourish into the future. Thus, it is our desire that Winter Green Farm carry on in generations to come. To this end, we will continue to secure our land base and we will create a succession plan that purposely attracts new owners.
HARMONY WITH THE EARTH
Our mission statement begins, “A productive farm in harmony with the earth”. This is a broad and sweeping statement with many facets, some which we have a notion of and some, which we hope to discover over time. Among the known facets we include as primary, the health of our soil. We understand that without taking care of the soil, there is no possibility for harmonizing the rest of our farm environment. To this end we aim to be sensitive with our tillage, generous in applying high quality composts, and balanced in our cover cropping and rotations. We further wish to enhance the vitality of the soil and the environment at large through the applications of biodynamic preparations.
We honor the inter-relationship of all things. We find that it is helpful to perceive our farm as a living organism, as an ecosystem, so that our awareness of this interconnectedness may increase. We believe that as stewards of this particular piece of earth it is our responsibility to help foster a dynamic harmony amongst the kingdoms of nature. We strive for the appropriate kinds and right number of animals to help provide the fertility needs of our crops. We believe that animal husbandry requires having a deep respect for our domesticated animals. They serve us providing food, fertility, friendship, and entertainment and in turn we provide for them their needs, with love and caring.
We realize that our human activity exists within a larger natural context. We pledge to be sensitive to the ecology of forest groves, wetlands, and riparian area that lie within the acres that we manage. When appropriate we will take measures to help foster the natural health of these areas.
Our farm exists as part of earth’s ecology. Our farm management impacts both positively and negatively our planet’s well being. Although we recognize that doing no harm is an unreachable ideal, we will try to reduce our use of less renewable energy sources and implement gentler more sustainable energy strategies, where we deem it possible.
HARMONY WITH HUMANITY
The second part of our mission statement is, “A productive farm in harmony with…humanity.” Again this is a multi-dimensional and far-reaching statement. As farmers perhaps our primary relationship with humanity is one of farmer to consumer. We believe that access to good food should be a birthright for every human being. This means food that is rich in life-force nourishment to support humans in actualizing their potential. Therefore, it is our desire to produce the highest quality foods that we are able. Good food supports our bodies, engages our senses, becomes an opportunity for sharing, and in general enhances the quality of life. Every person regardless of economic class deserves to eat wholesome and delicious food.
Consumers have become increasingly disconnected from the land that sustains them. We feel compelled to offer opportunities for folks to come to the farm and begin to reestablish that relationship. We foresee modest expansion of existing celebrations and more field trips to encourage this goal.
We believe that workers have the right to meaningful work, fair treatment, and decent compensation. We are eternally grateful for the love and care that our employees invest in our farm. In a very real way, our farm is the manifestation of the energy of our workers. Many deep relationships have developed over the years at the farm, among workers and between workers and owners. We see our workforce as our farm community and look forward to supporting this important aspect of our farm.
Just as Winter Green Farm’s ecosystem exists within a global ecology, so does our social activity exist within a broader community and societal context. We believe that supporting local community organizations, specific cause related endeavors, and certain agricultural organizations are important. Similarly, we believe that by opening the farm as a place where members of the community can support us, we help strengthen the bonds of community and help heal the rural/urban divide.
HARMONY WITH OURSELVES
By keeping our ideals in view we both bring motivation and purposefulness to our lives. It is vital that we stay aware of the positive role that we play in our community and the world at large, and challenge ourselves to discover new ways of serving. In addition to this broader vantage point, we aim to assign ourselves activities and responsibilities that nurture our passions and allow us each to flourish, while getting the necessities done.
Farming is hard work. It takes its toll not only on the body, but also requires the ability to handle stressful circumstances. We feel it is imperative that the farm provides time for owners to explore and develop other aspects of their lives, or simply just take a little time off.
We seek to create a farm environment where beauty abounds and there is a sense of tidiness and order.
Although we see our farm as a community hub, we cherish regular times where we can enjoy our farm as our home in the privacy of our farm families.
Finally, we desire to have an economic return that is sufficient to provide for our families and allay personal financial stress.
In these ways we hope that Winter Green Farm will make a positive contribution in the world.