This past year has definitely been an interesting ride!
Operating a small business, running the farm, navigating our 6 children's education, self-employment, and juggling normal family responsibilities amidst a pandemic.... whew!
Last month we made the hard announcement that we are no longer going to be hosting our Annual Grazing Hills Fiber Arts Festival as the toll it takes in planning such a large event was too much for our family and my mental health. Admitting defeat and having the courage to admit that was hard.... but, made me realize that my family and our health needed to take a front seat. It was a very difficult decision and a lot of thought and tears went into that announcement.
That announcement got us thinking about the future of our Ranch and what we want it to look like as this pandemic has decided to come back into our lives again.
In 2015, we bought the farm from my grandparents and moved our family out to the farm. We wanted this lifestyle so we could offer something else for our kids and our community, as well as fulfill dreams of owning our own farm and creating a future for our family. While those dreams are still the same ones we have today, we are realizing that we need to reorganize and put more thought into what our kids need from us right now, too... and that's our presence in their life.
So, my husband and I sat down with our kids and we talked about what their goals and dreams are for our family farm. We want to raise good kids that understand the value of hard work, setting goals, achieving great things, but also having a firm foundation in their faith and their place in our family. So, this isn't a cop out cause things are tough again.
They are incredibly hard workers (well, Cora, the youngest... not so much. But, she can catch a chicken like nobody else and gives great farm tours) but also because they do the majority of the work and chores on the farm, they should have a say as to what is important to them for continuing this farm. Their education and mental health is so important at this time so we are also shifting into homeschooling again as the pandemic appears to be on the upward projection again. Admitting that we can't do it all is hard to do, but, I have to set an example to my kids that it's ok to reassess and focus on what is most important: them.
With all that being said.... Our family has made the decision to close up shop for right now.
-We are still going to be operating our alpaca farm, but, on a smaller scale and downsizing the herd by about half.
Effective Sept. 1:
-The Farm Store will be closed and only open by appointment, for events, or for B&B guests
-Events out here will be reduced in frequency (Alpaca Farm Day in September is still a go!) but the monthly classes and field trips are put on hold right now.
-Our B&B will still operate as usual
Our family is everything to us and we need to focus our attention on that right now.
We have met some amazing people in these past 5 years through different events we have hosted, farm visitors, and our b&b guests. It has been such a blessing to have crossed so many paths that we would have otherwise never have encountered.
You can continue to shop and visit the farm until the end of August! After that, message us to book your own private tour or shopping experience... or if you're interested in starting your own herd of beautiful alpacas, now is the time to message us and we can help!
Thank you so much for supporting us the past 5 years.
Love, the DeWinkle Family
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