‘Tis the season for celebrating with friends and looking back on another year that’s passed too quickly.

This has been a busy year for our farm. We’ve expanded our production of storable produce, extended our growing season with the addition of a second hoop house, and really ramped up our marketing for sales of vegetables and flowers. We’ve also focused much attention to assuring our farm efforts remain mission-focused on the needs of survivors by integrating farm topics in our nonresidential support groups and enrolling more shelter residents in the farm stipend program. Our commitment to the farm’s connection to healing for survivors was underscored with the renaming of our organization this year.

But when we look back on this year, we don’t remember sweating in the summer heat or our aching backs after a long day of work, it’s those little moments with friends and survivors that matter most.

…being present when a child eats a fresh raspberry for the first time.

…listening to music and telling stories as we arrange flowers for a big order.

…reading journal reflections about how being on the farm has helped a survivor begin to heal from years of abuse.

…gathering with our friends from JP’s Peace, Love, and Happiness Foundation and Grow Appalachia under the pavilion for a meal we’ll never forget.

…and those magical moments when butterflies stopped by to say hello just when we needed it.

Our dream for our little farm is a big one, and these wonderful memories motivate us to make next year even better. So many exciting projects are in the works. In January, we travel to Washington D.C. as a national finalist in the Partnership for Freedom Reimagine: Opportunity Challenge. While there, we will work to refine an idea connecting our farm with sustainable housing and micro-enterprise opportunities for survivors of human trafficking. Early next year we’ll also begin construction to renovate an outbuilding on the back of our property to become a commercial kitchen.

And we’ve already received a couple of big orders for 2014!

We can’t thank Grow Appalachia enough for welcoming our organization to this wonderful family of farmers and supporting us along the way.  We wish all of you safe holidays full of family, friends, and hope for another year of hearty harvests and moments that matter.