Reflecting back on 2021 I am thankful for many many things. ❤️
I am thankful for our loyal customers and your patience while we continued to figure out Covid cautions, new delivery routes, and changes to our “open” hours. Your flexibility and continued laughs are much appreciated.
I am very thankful for the farmers market volunteers and organizers (Kristen, Barb, Barry, & Angelyn). They again did an amazing job and our farm really depends on the opportunity to sell at these locations. We are looking forward to 2022 with the hope to expand into the Bellevue Farmers Market in addition to the three Omaha Markets.
I am thankful for friends. For those true friends who step up, step forward, and help or hug without a needed request or explanation. Lord bless these dear friends in abundance this year. ❤️ Help me learn to be selfless and giving more fully, like them.
Ally, our Education Program Director, has been an amazing asset to the farm. She hit the ground running in May and flew through our summer camps, helping to develop our Farm STE+AM camp and online farm classes. I am over the moon excited to continue to work with her in 2022 as we continue to develop the learning aspect of the farm.
WOW, thinking of the summer camps…I truly loved getting to know each and every student. Their curiosity for farming and their problem solving skills amazed me this year. In the same token we could not have had such a fulfilling course content without the volunteers who helped teach the Butcher Math (Mrs. Beth), Water & Soil Health (Mr. Kylen), farm science experiments (Mrs. Ally), and assistants (Ms. Keelyn & Mrs. Nicole). 2022 will welcome these fantastic people back and has us already planning to add a tour to a local butcher and incorporate the production and sales part of moving farm products to the stores. We are thrilled to collaborate with fellow agriculture leaders in the community to educate families on food choices.
2021 was full of refining. The most value comes in the appreciation of remembering the hardships we have endured these past couple of years, 2021 the most difficult. Personal battles and family battles with depression, financial strains, and farm strains (that I promise we will share with you as soon as we are allowed). This year has been one of the hardest seasons of my 41 years and I am thankful to see it come to a close. At the same time I have spent the last few days reflecting on the growth that has only been possible because of the pain.
Anthony and I have cut back our farm, extensively, and decided to fine tune the areas we have kept open. This has given me the opportunity to pause, reflect, dig deep, and understand more clearly. We both also had to get off farm jobs, and I had to stop homeschooling my kiddos 💔 to help compensate for the farm loss/challenges. The anger was deep and the loneliness deeper. Depression is a horrible monster.
With absolutely every depth of hell this year, I was never alone. I knew it in those lonely, horrible, tear filled times as much as I know it now as I look back and pause in reflection. His promise to NEVER Leave me or forsake me is so utterly true. I hope that each and every one of you know it full well for your own life. In my intense need to press into Him more I found a way to forgive others who have so badly hurt me. I have cut off ties to people and places that bring pain, and for those that I can’t cut off I am learning a new sense of quiet love. I’ve learned (still learning) to ONLY depend on Jesus.
We have huge plans and enough dreams to shake the whole agricultural industry but I am determined to stay focused, one day at a time, to not take my eyes off of Him. I am filled with hope for 2022. I don’t know the how and I’m tired of planning it out. He knows the quiet desires of my heart, even better than I do, and I am excited to see what this next year will bring. I know it will be full of laughter with kids at summer camps, and special moments with my own children, I know my husband will find purpose, and that I will have more peace than I have ever had before.
Love & Blessings,
Mariel & Anthony & Kids
P.S. If you have never tried fasting I would encourage you to try it. Yes, it is HARD. But you CAN do hard things. And the benefits….the benefits…are indescribable. If you are a reader, pick up a copy of Fast Like Daniel. Draw closer to Him in 2022. 😘
P.S.S. If you want to enjoy a photo slideshow of our farm events this year. Check out our YouTube video highlight reel.