I’m definitely more comfortable in the city or the suburbs. We recently bought a home that is just outside of town, and I told a friend that when we were looking for houses I would get a little twitchy if we went south of 40th Street or east of Waverly. I don’t know when I started equating houses in tight rows with security.
But when I was little – it was a different story.
I was a farm girl growing up. Dairy farm.
I used to swing from ropes in the hay mound and track down barn kittens until dinner. My cousins were our neighbors and we would climb through the tresses of the barn ceiling and walk high above the feeding troughs. There was a path of 2×4’s that spanned the length of the barn – from the hay mound to the feeding troughs. We would balance (above concrete floors below, it would have been a far fall) and walk all the way from one end to the other and slide down a small cord connecting the ceiling to the trough.
My family owned the large hill across the road from our house, and there was a path cut through it. I remember walks that lasted hours as we traveled through just for the fun of it – looking up through the forest to see glimpses of bright blues and whites.
Life was about cows, fields, tractors, and outdoors. It was green, earthy, and beautiful.
I was young enough when we moved to Holland that some of the feelings of “normal” changed easily. But no matter the age, farming is still in my blood and in my history. So much so that sometime I feel it without even recognizing it.
I’m not sure if it is because of my history that I value supporting local farms and businesses, but it is definitely enhanced my appreciation of what they do. So when I received the invitation to tour 2 local businesses and 1 farm, the invitation was more than an opportunity to support them – it was a gift of remembering, savoring, and embracing more of my story.
It was a gift of experience and joy. It was a learning adventure.
At the conclusion of each portion of the tours, the host would thank us all for coming. I saved myself from being weird in front of everyone, but I wanted to gush my thanks for how inspired I was simply by being brought to the crosspoint of passion and purpose. The past and the future. They why and the how. The idea and the art. For me, hearing another person’s passion for what they do, where their ideas came from and how they make it reality – that is art. And as Emily P. Freeman said, “Art plus art equals more art.”
So whether is was the look on Dave’s face as he told me about how they care for the calfs, or Fred’s gestures as he told us about the uniqueness of each of the barrels, or the moving story behind why Ray wanted to launch a Natural product.
What each of these men have in common is their commitment to their craft and to collaboration with each other.
On my adventure, I saw first hand how invested these three are to not only their passion but also to connecting with one another to create something even better together than they can alone.
It makes my farm girl heart happy to scoop Hudsonville’s Naturals because I know where their cream comes from and that Hudsonville is committed to making real ice cream, and not “frozen dairy dessert” – I didn’t know the difference, but now I do.
I love the fact that there can be a positive domino effect to every purchase I make. When I support Hudsonville, I contribute a little part to Pyle farm’s future too.
Too see more pictures of our adventure check out my fellow bloggers on Instagram:
And learn more about these great local businesses in time to celebrate July – National Ice Cream and Michigan Craft Beer Month: