Twenty Years. That’s how long Barbara and Bill Spencer have been lovingly and mindfully tending to their 50 acres, building a name for themselves and steadily working out the kinks of running a small, sustainable farm. We are all proud of what we do, and also take great pride in how we do it. Every morning on my drive to work through the vineyards and ranches East of Paso Robles I am overcome with gratitude, for having the opportunity to work where I do, in a beautiful place filled with great, hardworking people.
We are ready to share this place with you. Our gates are open and we invite you to join us on this little patch of ground. We have reached out to the world, participating in markets as far as Santa Monica, and now we are ready to close the circle. We will of course still be at market, but we are beginning to realize the potential for growth right here in SLO County, and on the farm itself. Not just economic growth, though that is definitely a factor, but also social and spiritual growth. These are the three levels of our engagement with agriculture: economic, social and spiritual, and we strive to honor each of them.
Barbara explained to me how they came to see their role as more than just economic:
“After we did our first tomato tasting, we looked at each other and said, ‘This is not just a food factory’. The tasting made us realize that our farm has a much broader role to play in the community…First as a place for people to get good, clean, healthy, local food and see where it is grown, which is the economic level. On the social level, we wish to participate as members of the community, not just as a business but as a farm. “
We at Windrose believe that farms have a huge role to play in the formation and strengthening of the bonds and ties that make life possible and create resiliency and sustainability on a community level. A strong community can weather natural, economic and political disasters much better than just a loose group of individuals. Having strong ties between neighbors makes it so that those people are greater than the sum of their parts. We are still in the process of figuring out exactly what all this means and what it should look like here in our particular neck of the woods, but we are eager to explore our options.
Some of those options include hosting events such as workshops, classes, dinners, and celebrations. Our desire for events is to keep them agriculture and health related, as our choices have to do with developing the local food shed. We envision people bringing their bicycles and picnic lunches, enjoying the scenery and delighting in our produce. We are also ready for people to come and stay overnight on the farm, whether tent camping in the orchard or staying in the trailer we have for visitors. Yoga classes (taught by yours truly) are definitely on the table as well as retreats. What we do know is that we want more people from our community to come to the farm, to sit and talk with us under the old oak tree, to share in the wonderful experience that is this scrap of Earth.
“We have not changed this place, this place has changed us.”
That’s the response I got what I asked Barbara about the spiritual level of the farm. “It has nothing to do with us. There is a very strong spirituality on this land. We believe this is a place that can give people strength… people really like being here. Before us there were farmers from the turn of the century, and before them the Salinan Indians. The spiritual energy here is very healing, and it comes from those that were here before us.” We honor that spirituality through our farming practices every day,and now we are ready to share it with you.
So come on over, we’d very much like to meet you!
P.S.- Tell us what you think! What sorts of events,workshops, classes etc. would you like to see at Windrose? How do you see our farm’s place in the broader community? What can we offer that would bring you here? The answers to these questions mean a lot to us, so please either leave a comment or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Melissa