Listen to Life

You don't have to ask.
It's organic. It's fresh.
It's just expected.

Stacey Givens is a farmer and owns her farm.
She dedicates her time to the community and tries to inspire young farmers all over the world.

I am constantly thinking how our farm can give back to the community.

In my everyday life, I think for me, it's my community, like taking care of other people. I am very bad at taking care of myself but I always put other people first.

I've had the farm for 10 years now, and it's evolved to so many things for the community. So, every day somebody is walking up here to volunteer, to learn how to farm, or to take part in one of our events.

We go out there to make it cool and inspire young people to farm and give lectures, meet with mayors. It's really cool. Every year, I take a new group with me: coffee people, distillers, winemakers, brewers. It's a lot of fun, very rewarding – one of my favorite things. At the end of the farm season till I go on a trip overseas, it's work, but it's also rewarding.

The cook sees the farm very differently from the farmer…

It's all hard work but we have wonderful people that work for us. I always had one cook and one farmer and they work together because the cook sees the farm very differently than just a person or a farmer.

For us, we like to keep it really fresh. Twice a week is harvest day for us. We get here at sunrise, like 5:30 or 6 o'clock. We have a whole list of restaurants for tomorrow and we harvest everything the same day, so it's very fresh. As we are harvesting, we are packaging. We put it in the coolers to keep it cool. Then we load up a bunch of big coolers into the truck. All the coolers are for each restaurant. We drop it off, and pick it up later.

The chefs, they want to – love to – see the farm. They'll see new stuff and ask, "Okay, what's that?", I am like, "Try it, taste it". Then, "Oh, I want some of this now". It's a way to get them interested in new things they've never had. They like coming here. We are so close to the city, close and convenient.

Here, you assume it's fresh – it's just expected.

When it's fresh it will last longer and aesthetically it looks better, tastes better. We live in a small city. You run into people at the store, like friends. Most of the people here, it's a way of life to eat organic, eat fresh, more people than not. They go to restaurants assuming it's going to be fresh – elsewhere you can't guarantee it's going to be fresh or organic. But here, we are known for freshness – at all of our popular restaurants, you just know. You don't have to ask. It's organic. It's fresh. It's just expected.

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