CRYJ is incredibly lucky to have such awesome friends as Todd and Rebecca of Two Bear Farm. Their beautiful farm has been the setting for our Harvest Dinner from the beginning four years ago. We are continually impressed by their hard work and are proud that they will once again be hosting us for the Harvest Dinner this August 18th. We think they’re pretty neat, so we sent them a few questions so you could get to know them too!
Who are you? How did you come to be?
Rebecca and Todd both independently developed strong conservation ethics stemming from their experiences as children. Even though Todd grew up on a small farm, and was passionate about the outdoors and the environment, he never thought he’d be a farmer. And Rebecca was the opposite. She grew up in the suburbs, but always dreamed of being a farmer. When we met, we realized that we both shared similar principles about life and food, and that we wanted to create change regarding our country’s food system. We both shared a passion and a knack for farming, and we basically just created the reality that we wanted. The early years of the farm were really hard, but we believed in what we were doing, and we gained more and more community support each year, which allowed us grow. Now we take great satisfaction in that while we are still a very small farm, we are having a fairly significant impact in our community by providing lots of healthy food and bringing people together in the name of fresh food and good health.
What do you love about what you do?
Farming is very tangible and grounding work. Some times too tangible. But in the end, you only get out of it what you put into it, and it takes a lot of effort to be successful year in and year out, and that is a sort of badge of honor for us. From a big picture standpoint, we hated the fact the the food quality in this country had become so low due to industrialization of our food system. The idea that corporate profits were driving the system with a total disregard to human health seemed completely backwards to us. So we loved that our farming was a form of activism meant to better ourselves and our communities. Not only could we be outside, being good land stewards, and enjoying growing plants from a selfish standpoint, but at the same time we were having a bigger positive effect on the land and our customers.
What do you value about community?
At the end of the day, I think community is the most important scale. National politics dominate all the headlines, but so little of what happens in Washington really seems to matter in our day to day lives here. What’s much more important is your relationship with your neighbors, and the health of your home community. We live in an ever-increasing “connected” age, but people seem more disconnected than ever. Rural areas are shrinking, towns are losing their vibrancy and character, and everything is getting more centralized and consolidated. We feel very fortunate to live in a vibrant community like Whitefish, and we really feel like what we do helps to add in a small way to that vibrancy. It comes back to that point again about taking an active role in creating the reality that you want. Or as the paraphrased Gandhi quote says: “Be the change you want to see in the world”.
Why did you get involved with this CRYJ event?
Honestly, we love our farm,and we loved sharing it with others. While the focus of CRYJ is not something that we were really familiar with or involved with, it all made sense from a community standpoint. We are all in this thing together. And a vibrant community needs to learn to be creative in dealing with all aspects and issues that it faces in order to be it’s best self. The idea that CRYJ was so focused on improving a system for the betterment of individuals, in this case the penal system, really resonated with us. Giving our youth a way out of their mistakes in order to live more fruitful futures was a much more compassionate approach to the status quo, and one that has been a huge success. We are inspired by their efforts to help others and improve the community at the same time, and we’re super excited to be part of the annual dinner.
All photos courtesy of Mandy Mohler, Field Guide Designs.