Long-term Goals for Farm Hearts

People often ask me what my goals for Farm Hearts is, and I often reply, “Do you have two hours?” They laugh nervously, but really that’s how long it might take for me to talk about all the goals I have because THERE ARE SO MANY!  

The first, and more prominent goal of the moment, is to grow our sales. We currently sell produce at a few farmers markets, but I’d like to expand into natural food stores within the area. It would be very difficult to do this with all of our produce, so we might have to focus on a specific thing, such as tomatoes, or maybe even our eggs.  

Then, I would eventually like to open up a restaurant where Farm Hearts provides most of the produce. We would have to really scale up the farm to make this happen, and it would take not only a huge staff but also a large plot of land, but it would be really awesome if people could order an omelet with our eggs, our spinach, and our onions, and then go buy those exact ingredients in the attached market. Customers would know EXACTLY where their food comes from, and they would know that they are only getting the freshest ingredients. We could help make food real and good again, not just an act of convenience. And, our prices and menu would be set up so that everyone could organic, delicious food.  

The last major goal is to start a non-profit that donates organic food to schools, specifically inner-city public schools. It’s absolutely atrocious what school lunch looks like around the country, and kids are being conditioned to enjoy the crappy, nutrition-less food that when they are given the option of healthy foods, they don’t eat it. In addition to providing good food, I want to educate kids on how delicious and life-changing real food can be. Kids need to be taught that healthy food is fun and exciting, and that just isn’t being done in this country. We want our kids to have nearly perfect test scores, but we are not willing to give or teach them about the fuel that can give them the energy to do well in school.  

So, all of this are pretty simple and easy to do, right? Ha! I know those are high ambitions, but I wouldn’t have started Farm Hearts if I didn’t think they are possible. These aren’t five-year goals, or even ten years, but they will take decades, and I believe in this mission so much that I am willing to work hard to see them through. 

Setting Up the Farm

When you are setting up a farm, the first thing you need to do is come up with a cute name and a logo.  

JUST KIDDING! 

The first thing you need to do is find the earth to farm, but that’s if you already know how to farm. Since, I did not, I spent about a year learning about organic farming. This included taking classes, having lots of conversations with experienced farmers, and getting my hands dirty.  

Then, I found a farm. I first started by renting a few acres from a friend, and once Farm Hearts grew, I bought my own plot. Next, I needed staff, which were actually easy to find.  

It took about a full year for Farm Hearts to feel like a real farm, and sometimes I am not sure it is even that. But I love this little business and I am committed to helping it grow and being what I know that it can!

Leaving the Dentistry Field

Since I was 16, I wanted to be a dentist. I was probably the only teenage girl in the whole history of the world that liked going to the dentist, but I loved it. It was probably because I had frizzy hair, ugly freckles, and was a bit overweight, but I had perfectly straight white teeth. The dentist would always tell me that my teeth were the best he has ever seen, “celebrity good,” he would tell me. Naturally, all of these positive reinforcements encouraged me to pursue a degree in dentistry.  

After dental school, I was extremely lucky in finding a dental practice owner to take me under her wing as a mentee, and eventually selling me her practice when she retired. We lived in a small town and everyone knew that our dentists were the best in the area. I loved my patients, getting to know them, and easing their fears in the dental chair.  

It was not an easy choice to give up my dentistry field, and I actually ran Farm Hearts for about six months while still keeping my dental practice. Eventually, I realized that if I really wanted to make my organic farm work, I would need to leave my dentistry career behind. This was not an easy choice, but luckily for me, I hired Professional Transitional Strategies to help me sell my dental practice to someone who could keep it in good hands and continue offering quality services to the community. They did a fantastic job, and the new owners are actually my current dentists! 

Making the career change was not easy, and sometimes I think I could go back to dentistry if the whole organic farm thing failed, but I knew that I couldn’t go through life without giving this dream a try. I do miss being a dentist, and the regular paycheck, but every day, I know in my heart, that I made the right choice.  

Why Start an Organic Farm

Many organic farmers are people who were raised on farms.  

Other organic farmers are cooks who want to make sure they have complete control of the ingredients that come into their kitchen.  

For me, the desire to become an organic farmer started when I became a mother. As I was transitioning my oldest daughter from breast milk to regular food, I was appalled at preservatives and added sugars found in kid food. That lead me to examine what was in my own food, which mostly came from a box or a can, and let’s just say I was horrified.  

I went down a rabbit whole of learning more about where our food in America comes from, and I was so angry. What made me the most upset was what kind of foods were in our schools and how low-income families had the least access to good, healthy food. They say the best way to find your passion in the world is to find what makes you angry and then go change it. I found my thing.  

After lots of discussions with family and friends, I decided the best way I could change the standard American diet was to put better food into the mix, which meant becoming a farmer myself.  

Even though I had a job that I liked and a nice life, I knew I needed to follow this dream, and that’s how Farm Hearts was born!