Found our footing.

Matt and I love going out to breakfast during the summer. Its sorta our thing. We bop somewhere and acquire eggs and potatoes in one form or another and chat and plan and dream.

The other morning over some type of ‘skillet’ we both agreed- we’ve found our footing here.

2019 will be looked upon fondly by us, as the most successful year for the farm to date. Here’s why:

It finally looks good around here. I’m not saying this so you’ll say ‘no no its always been beautiful!’ trust me, I know that part. It looks good as in it - feels like the improvements we’ve made around here are less ‘new’ and settling in and the farm is more ours everyday.

The only changes we did this year had MAJOR impact because they all revolved around the flow of our space.

I would say ‘we’ but Matt did 99% of this labor himself. I remember one day of spreading grass seed and that about sums up my participation this year, I’m more the ‘ideas’ one but our list of exactly what we did for improvement is impressive.

Mostly we just worked on making this place look better and feel more thoughtfully laid out.

I feel like all of 2018 was swallowed by the tiny house project, that having a summer where we just kept up around here has been the biggest relief and reward.

And our following. Seriously none of this would even work without you. This year we had an average of 15 or more people at each and every yoga class. The shed is busy each Friday morning & our lavender bundles have been flying off the shelves. We can’t thank you enough for supporting this.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that creating a loyal tribe of people who understand and support your business takes time. Like 3 years time. It takes sharing when its working and when its not working. It takes being honest and hardworking. It takes a little bit of luck but a whole lot more of busting your ass.

What we do best is so far removed from what I thought the farm would be when we signed on the dotted line. I thought we’d host tons of weddings and redo the barn to be an events venue, I thought we would plant acres of lavender.

And instead, we slowly learned that maybe what made the farm so special was how simple it was. How it took shape naturally and morphed under our direction in a way that felt right. How its only 10 acres and perhaps the magic really was in the location.

So we stopped planting lavender and committed to focusing on what we had. We decided not to immediately pursue renovating the entire barn. We moved the floral studio around twice before realizing where it needs to ultimately land. We stuck with just the tiny, when people ask us daily if we’ll add another one - recognizing that what makes people love it so much out here isn’t just a tiny house that’s cute - its their privacy and quiet and disconnection they find here.

We’ve got plans laying around for that pole barn structure. I remember last fall walking out in my muck boots with the guy who would build it, showing him the placement, the dream of a shiny new building that was level and didn’t have critters living in it - a bright and fresh place to run the flower studio from.

Those plans will stay laying around somewhere, he pitched us a number and we both realized that while do-able, what makes Sweetwater — Sweetwater is the fact that we’re keeping an old tiny farm just that. Old and tiny. And sure, I’ve got lighting plans for the new studio space but we’ll still be in the basement of a barn built in 1880.

And yeah, one day, ONE DAY there will be some sort of deck off the barn, but until that day it can be just as beautiful to stand and look out towards the sun rising over the hill to the east and remind myself that it wasn’t built overnight and it won’t be finished overnight.

And that finding out footing took a few years, and we’ll keep practicing these steps the entire way. Slow and steady and covered in a little dust and working with what we have and realizing that the shiniest newest brightest thing out there- wasn’t gonna make this place any more special than it already was.



Kalin SheickComment