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We're Leaving the Farm

Hello everyone,

We want to remind all our customers about our winter farm market Saturday at the town hall as well as a big announcement.

We are leaving Door county. It has been a shocking decision for us that was not really on our radar, but after the holidays we clarified some things that we have been uncertain about. After the clarification, we decided the best move for ourselves is to leave the farm. Tyler has family in Indiana that we plan on staying with for a while until we get back on our feet and know what our new plan is. We have ideas and lots of dreams including starting a new farm, but the road from here is quite open.

We are so grateful for the experience that we have had on the farm for past two years and we are so thankful for all of you who have supported us in our vegetable growing venture. We are equally thankful for our generous landlords who gave us the opportunity to do what we did as well as worked out a way for us to leave on good terms.

When we first came to the farm, our only concern was living a certain kind of lifestyle and growing vegetables for a living. With great enthusiasm, we set out to do something rare. We were creating something we had never seen before, although bits and pieces were inspired by other farms we had seen. It was a thrill with great highs and lows as we navigated our way forward building and designing the systems and infrastructure needed for the market garden. To see the work of our labor literally come to fruition was incredible.

Even with our combined experience working on other farms, we greatly underestimated the undertaking of starting our own market garden. Looking back, we should have built and transitioned slowly. Never before had we been so tired, exhausted and mentally drained. Our first season was extremely difficult and nearly broke us. Despite this, we had a successful first season.

After a restful winter, our second season was AMAZING. It was still more challenging than anything we had ever done, but not like our first season on the farm. Systems were set up, we were better with priorities, highly organized, had help for half of the season and had a better grasp on what to expect. This time, we enjoyed walking the gardens in the evening admiring our crops.

Season three was going to be special because our soil management tactics were going to start paying off. We were going to start utilizing our own farm made compost, our crop planning was going to be on point and our systems highly tweaked to be efficient and effective. Tyler is nearly finished with a teaching curriculum were going to use when training our next apprentice. Its already 28 pages long!

It is unfortunate that we will not see what season three held in store for us, but that is the adventure of life. What we are taking with us is worth more than any monetary value. We are no longer the same people we once were. We have come to understand that the farm is not a place or a single building or a crop. It is the people who care for it. We are now proud to say that we are farmers, stewards of land and nurturers of life. If we lost everything, we would not loose that.

We hope someone will take our place, not just here, but across the rest of the country. Why are there so few of us? Thank you all again for supporting us, our CSA program truly has been a Community Supported Agriculture.

We will be sending out additional emails until our last winter farm market on February 11th.

With much gratitude

Tyler and Allison Criswell


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