Wanted to take a few moments to tell my online and real life friends Happy New Years and to say sorry I've been scarce here on the blog and over at Homegrown Goodness lately as well as to give some updates regarding the farm, life in general, and what is to come.
2011 was a freight train of a year, it sort of ran me over while I wasn't looking and just keeps soldiering on! It seems more than ever the world (even locally) has become increadibly polarized with those who "get it", those who "don't", and those still sleeping. Regardless, a lot of good came of it. We expanded the farm greatly by adding pigs and ducks to mix, learning some new tips and tricks and building some much needed new infrastructure (with more to come in the next few weeks which I'll report via this blog). We also expanded our business majorly by taking big steps into commercial seed production (even bigger in 2012) and adding two new lines of prodcuts in the form of Uncle Penns Circle W Lye Soap and Isla Tortuga Tobacco Lath work.
We finally smartened up and told our prvevious farmers market endeavor to "kiss both sides of our collective ass" and joined in the mix of community minded folks bound and determined to create a new paradigm in local food and art via a new local foodshed (Washington County Artisans and Farmers) and we even dipped into a bit of community service by joining a couple local organizations that piqued our interest (It's those community projects that have taken a great deal of my time in the past six months and the subsequent political bullshit that goes along with such involvment that explains my absence from most social media sites as of late).
Anyhow, 2012 promises to be a huge endeavor and the biggest year yet for Bishop's Homegrown. We have finished up most of our breeding projects and have a reliable repetoir of "Eco-Logically" grown seed to show for it as well as a solid set of homesteading, as well as land and animal managment skills to apply to our small but ever growing farm. This year, for the first time ever, we will finally be able to enter 100% into a full on small scale production model self-sustainable farm. Every day brings a new lesson and theres always going to be something new to learn and try, some new product to master, some new survival skill to implement, and some new infrastructure to throw together as well as a heap of challenges! Ultimately however, without the love and help of my friends, community, and family, none of it would matter as you are all the driving force behind my work!
This year we look forward to making unique contributions to Washington County Artisans and Farmers, Old Settlers Days, and The Pekin Betterment committee as we move towards bringing food, history, and future together for the betterment of all in the local community. We also look towards working closely with other online bloggers and messageboards to bring our collective message to the rest of the world.
I hope that you too have been watching the news and keeping an eye on your government and economy as we have (despite the lapse in recent blog posts regarding these topics). I hope that you too have been preparing and watching the paradigm shift as we move into this new year, and more than ever I hope your working to build your own community (and more importantly family) to prepare in whatever way possible for the shifts we are going through.
In coming weeks I'll be posting a bit about our animal projects, a new greenhouse were building, our new root cellar, soap making, and gasp perhaps even passing on some information regarding distilling (don't overlook it's importance in tough times!)
Until then, I'm taking a break until after the New Years Celebration has commenced. I'm worn down and worn out at the moment and need a few days to recoup (plus I've got a bit of a cold). I'll return to promoting the market, the farm, and other projects not to mention starting seeds, kicking ass and taking names, and in general being a shit kicker soon enough!
Happy New Year,
Alan Reed Bishop