“My name is Sarah, and I accidentally fell in love with backyard farming after my oldest of four daughters got sick. We were a family of six living on one income, and began to learn that food could heal our bodies. The only problem was that we couldn’t exactly afford to make the switch to buying organic produce and high-end supplements at the natural grocers. I posed this question to my husband one day: “what if we dug up the whole front lawn and tried growing our own food?” That one question ended up changing our lives.
The process of learning how to grow food for my own family turned into the discovery of a passion I did not realize was inside of me. It ended up providing so much more than food. Besides bringing healing to our bodies, it put me in touch with my Italian heritage, slowed me down and opened my eyes to the beauty and connectedness of all life. I remember realizing my life had radically changed when moving wheelbarrow loads full of rabbit manure into my garden nearly brought me to tears. From finding success at home yogurt and sauerkraut making, to discovering the magic of composting, the sacredness of learning how to humanely butcher an animal, the skill required to bake sourdough bread in our outdoor wood-fired oven, to watching the miracle of one seed turn into an enormous, vine producing pounds and pounds of squash; all of these seasonal lessons in self-sufficiency are now being shared in community, as well.
Though we live on only ⅕ acre, we now grow food on six combined lots in our Old Town neighborhood, feeding 15 families through a working CSA which we developed with friends around the corner. It is a joy to work together, learning and sharing the work and the harvest. These beautiful vegetables, herbs and perennial fruits help to feed us most of the year. We are learning to grow in winter under hoops in our Northern Colorado climate. We raise chickens for eggs, rabbits for meat and ducks to help keep the slugs and sowbugs in balance.
I could not be more grateful for that initial illness and financial struggle which opened a door into this new, connected life. I love to share my story with others, in the hopes that it will remind people that you can begin growing ANYWHERE, even if you don’t own a farm or only have a small piece of land. We bring local school groups each year through our urban farm, and have recently published a book which shares stories, how-to’s and recipes from our journey. We all have a part to play!”
– Sarah Sailer
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