First off, I must thank everyone who has given so much positive feedback these last 2 weeks. I am a firm believer that, for the most part, no news from our members is good news. Meaning that if we do not hear from you, I assume that you have your mouth full of healthy goodies and you are happy. Plus, it’s not good to talk with your mouth full.
But these last two weeks have opened up a flood of responses. When any change comes, I brace for it by wearing an athletic cup and Styrofoam helmet. I hope for the best but prepare for the worst. But this change was truly amazing. The outpouring of positive support has been more than I have honestly ever seen. And it reaffirmed what I already knew to be true, that we have an incredible thing going on here at the farm with incredible members.
One of the common themes that I kept hearing was an overall appreciation for the transparency that we run this business with on a weekly basis. And folks, I have to tell you that I would not (and will not) have it any other way. The worst feeling as a consumer is feeling like you are being fed a bunch of bull manure from a business. We are all adults (for the most part) and can handle honest talk.
It may not always seem like it, but I do not do things on a whim. I think about this farm all the time and want you to know that we are always trying to make things better. Moving forward. Finding cool ways to make your lifestyle healthier, richer, and more enjoyable. When you break it down, enjoyment is the most sustainable emotion that we have as humans. Just ask any grandparent as they shove sugar cookies into their grand-kids’ pie holes. As my dad always says, “Sure is fun to have fun.” Remember that.
I have to tell you too that all of these changes we have seen this year in the business have been mirrored in my personal life. This weekend marks my 40th birthday and the end of a self-imposed very challenging year. Just over a year ago I took some honest personal stock on my life and knew that I needed to make some changes in order for me to lead a happier life. That is not easy admitting that to yourself.
I was running a business that I loved so dearly, but for the amount of time that I was putting into it, there was not a lot to show for it at the end of the day. Now that is fine when you are an idealistic 27 year old kid armed with a dream, a handful of seeds and an old pick-up truck. But as my little Viking, Soren, started to get older, I realized that this business had to move from being a philanthropy to a viable business. You can’t pay health care costs and bills with bunches of beets you know. So this year was The year to focus and see if this farm had the legs to stand on its own.
I am beyond happy to say that it has been an incredible year for the farm. We have made necessary changes over the year and I can say that I think we have a poster-child company that exemplifies the triple bottom line taking care of people, planet, and profits. We are ready for 2016.
The last aspect of this personal transformation year came in a two-sided coin—strengthen the body and quiet the mind. I have played sports my entire life. I considered myself in pretty good shape, but I was feeling my age after playing soccer or swearing at my brothers on the racquetball court. Then a year ago, I was invited over to a personal training center, Elevate. One of our long-time members, Jay English, has truly shown me the synergies that can happen in a person when you combine healthy food with a training. I used to be so stubborn and think that I could just train myself. I couldn’t. We need coaches and support structures throughout our lives. To ask for help and assistance should be seen as a strength, not a weakness.
Lastly, I have cut out so much noise from my life. I don’t watch the news, am not glued to up-to-date web sites, don’t read the paper. And you know what…it feels great. I know more about what my son’s teacher says than what the Donald says and that feels good. I encourage everyone to find even small ways to quiet the noise in your life. You’ll be amazed at the positive things that will fill the space.
Thank you for your continued support amigos. I am a very grateful and lucky dude. Happy holidays, Farmer Monte