Status of the farm and website

As of 2018, we are no longer pursuing sales of farm products. We continue to manage the landscape for our own food production, including produce, fruit, grains, animals, mushrooms, firewood, timber, and more, but do not intend to sell any of these. Over the last few years we’ve pivoted our focus to building our freelance business, which provides a more stable and sensible income that better supports our fundamental goal of self-reliance and self-employment. Maintaining a part-time farm business while doing non-farm freelance work simply creates too much complexity for our tastes in everything from time management to taxes.

We are considering taking down the current WordPress website (though not the more basic freelance site) as maintaining the former against ever-increasing hacking attacks is becoming a time sink and we’re less inclined than ever to have lots of information about ourselves online. In addition, it’s becoming ever more common for aggregator websites to steal content or imagery by reposting without attribution, and we’re reluctant to “donate” ten years of content without gaining readership or financial support in return. We don’t approve of the direction the internet and online information are taking, and are leaning toward withdrawing from that world as much as possible. The basic question remaining is how to archive all of our content for our own uses, and until we resolve that question the WordPress site will remain. But don’t be surprised if it vanishes one day.

8 thoughts on “Status of the farm and website

  1. I find this post very interesting in light of my recent decision to also step back from farm sales and look into alternatives to support our family when my husband retires, as well as focusing more on my childrens’ education. With ever-changing regulations on food products, it seems to be a full-time just to keep up with them – and then who is supposed to be growing/raising the food? I’m also concerned about too much information about us online and have been considering what to do with our website, especially since we’ve seriously neglected it for quite a while. Why am I still paying for it?? I’ve cut back on almost everything for the year to rest and reboot, stepping out of the whirlwind I put myself in to seriously consider everything we are doing to see what should stay and what should go – for now. The older I get I realize how much life is always changing and we need to keep reevaluating regularly to make sure we’re on whatever track we want to be on. I wish you the best!

    • Thanks for this kind and accurate comment. We agree with all of your observations; the new regulatory environment was also a factor in deciding to cut off sales. We felt it just wasn’t worth the enhanced risk of bureaucratic or liability entanglements. As for your last point, the “sabbatical” year we took in 2015 definitely helped us refocus on defining our personal goals for the future rather than continuing to do what we were doing simply because we were already doing it. Best wishes to you as well in moving forward with what’s best for you and your family.

    • I second this.
      I always wondered how you worked a farm and maintained this website.
      I am happy for all the time I spent here.
      Thanks for sharing your experience and for the tour of your place.
      I wish you the Best!

  2. You have indeed been an inspiration, both in terms of farming and stewardship of the environment.
    I will think of you and send thanksgivings and blessings as I add to our journal of what is happening on the land we farm and tend. Thank you for the gentle lessons and wonderful example you set for paying attention.

  3. Hi, just want to say thanks for everything. We enjoyed your food and hospitality so much while we were in Columbia. Chert Hollow Farm fed us well for years and we will never forget that. Truly impressive and inspiring what you’ve done with that land to actually practice sustainable living.

    Best wishes,

    • Thanks, Jason! Your comment implies that you’ve left Columbia, so I hope you’re both happy wherever you’ve moved on to.

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