What does it take to make a farm?
Tim and Carla Shultz own The Green Ranch, a natural protocol vegetable farm near Osage Saskatchewan.
Tim is a Partner and the Director of Producer Relations for Local & Fresh.
Recently, I was invited to speak at a film screening for “To Make A Farm” by Steve Suderman of Orangeville Road Pictures. To Make a Farm is a remarkably honest documentary following the lives of 5 young people as they start their farms. I first talked to Steve back in 2010 or 2011 when they were putting the documentary together. I kept in touch and watched the screening when the film was released and was completely taken aback at how well he “got it”. There are so many moments in the film that my wife Carla and I looked at each other and just nodded our heads in agreement.
This past week I watched the film a couple times as I prepared for the event and it has provided a good opportunity to reflect on what it takes to make a farm. Memories flooded back as we thought about our early days “making” The Green Ranch. There is a scene of one of the couples standing at the kitchen window watching it rain and hail and not saying a thing…but we knew exactly what they were thinking!
Another scene showed one of the couples coming in for lunch and listening to a message on the phone from a customer thanking them for the wonderful food she had received in her vegetable package and for doing what they were doing. We too have listened to messages like that after a long day in the field. I have had people ask me if we ever tire of the work or wonder why we do it when it is so demanding and labor intensive. For these new farmers in the documentary and for us the answer is “yes, occasionally near the end of the season”; but our customers and the relationships we have built keep us going.
Seeing that a young family is relying on us to provide quality food to feed their family and the trust they place in us is an incredible motivator.
Our Journey started in May of 2003. As we approach our 12th year farming at The Green Ranch, the film provided a good opportunity to pause and reflect on why we are farming, and be thankful for the wonderful support we have had from our customers and community. Thank you. You motivate us to keep on planting!
Since starting Local and Fresh in September it has been so encouraging to see that same level of support continue to grow for local food and those that produce it.
Tim Shultz – Owner, The Green Ranch
Partner, Director of Producer Relations – Local & Fresh
P.S. Here is a link to the trailer of “To Make a Farm” . I encourage you to check it out, its offers such great insight into small-scale farming and what it takes to “make a farm”.