If you’re trying to find ways to live this sweet life a lot more, you need to check out this interview right here and right now.
Juggling being a wife, mom and farmher can be difficult and no one knows the struggle better than our listeners and our guest, Danielle Clark of Mayberry Farms. Leading this rural lifestyle while managing a business, a household, and raising two young boys has it’s difficulties and Danielle is here with us to chat all about it and to tell us about her sweet life on a strawberry farm!
I have known Danielle since I asked her to be a speaker at a Women in AG conference a few years ago. When we finally met we realized just how much we had in common. We’ve bonded over our love for the rural life and trying to manage our farm based businesses while raising young kids.
Here’s what you’ll find in this episode:
- How Danielle and her husband went from having crushed dreams to an exciting and adventurous reality of a sweet life.
- How Danielle has managed to learn all about marketing her new business and strawberry farming.
- The husband and wife team and the sweet life behind Mayberry Farms.
LISTEN TO THE EPISODE HERE
FIRST OF ALL, ABOUT DANIELLE
- Born and raised in WI.
- Owns and operates a u-pick strawberry farm with her husband in WI.
- She’ll be married four years this week!
- Mom to two young boys, 3 years old and 8 months old.
- Bought their farm in 2016 and has been living the sweet life ever since.
OBSTACLES DANIELLE HAS FACED
- Her and her husband has this romanticized idea of becoming a part of, and eventually running, one of their family’s farms. Each would be 5th generation farmers but neither of the family farms could make it work. Their dreams of becoming farmers were crushed.
- The biggest lesson of this sweet life learned is to be open to other possibilities. Since they were both open to learning a different kind of farming than the ones they were raised on it allowed for the opportunity to own the strawberry farm. They’re living the sweet life now!
DANIELLE’S SWEET LIFE STORY
After the dreams that her and her husband had of owning one of their parents farms were dashed they decided to look into starting their own farm. However, with loans for new farmers difficult to come by, the capital needed to start a crop farm to substantial to obtain, and there not being enough land available to start a cattle op they had to be open to opportunity.
In 2016 Danielle’s husband called her and said he had found a farm, but it was a strawberry farm, something neither of them had any experience with. She thought it would be a good idea to see it anyway. When they met with the owners they found that it had been a strawberry farm for 40 years, the current owners having owned it 20 years and the owners before them had it for 20 years. The sellers only wanted it to go to someone who wanted to keep the farm going.
The prospect of the farm excited both of them and they couldn’t stop talking about it. They knew that this sweet life spent strawberry farming was meant to be. And once they made the decision to take the leap everything just seemed to fall into place. Their home sold to a friend of a neighbor without it ever going on the market, the equipment they needed they were able to purchase through the sellers, and they were able to get a loan through FSA.
Their sweet life dream to become farmers was happening.
ALL ABOUT RUNNING A FARM
The hardest part about running the farm business has been trying to manage it and raising two young boys. When they bought the farm Danielle was pregnant and trying to weed 8 acres, by hand, was impossible. Now, with an 8 month old and a 3 year old, it can still prove to be challenging.
However, she manages her home and her business through Trello. It allows her to plan out a day, a week, a month, or even a quarter at a time. As a list maker it’s been a life saver and has helped her to enjoy her sweet life a lot more. .
Danielle manages their farm while her husband handles the actual growing aspect of the business. Don’t let that fool you though. She manages all of their employees which, during busy season, can get up to about 20 people. She’s also up to date with all the small business finances.
She also manages the marketing, social media, and events for the farm. She has been working to add more events to the farm to attract even more customers. This year she has partnered with Blue Zones Project to host a Farm to Table lunch. Their goal is to teach the community where their food comes from. One of their favorite aspects of strawberry farming and managing a business is the satisfaction of meeting their consumers and seeing their product help feed their community and teach them about the sweet life of strawberry farming.
Managing a small business as a team is one of their biggest strengths. Her husband works full-time off the farm in addition to his role on it but they have made it work. They were given the opportunity to learn from the previous farmers, network with other berry growers in the area, and have both turned their dream into a reality.
WHAT IS ONE THING OR QUOTE THAT KEEPS DANIELLE ENJOYING HER SWEET LIFE?
“This too shall pass.” Whenever Danielle is having a rough day trying to manage it all she reminds herself that this season in her life won’t last forever. On the days when she has a serious case of overwhelm she is grounded by knowing that “this too shall pass.” She makes sure that the kids come first, the farm is taken care of, and if that means that a pile of laundry or a sink full of dishes has to wait, then so be it. She has come to the conclusion that she can’t do it all.
It wasn’t always like that though. With the societal pressures of needing to maintain a career or manage a business, raise a family, and run a household at an all time high there was definitely struggle. What she came to realize though is that it’s not necessary, or even possible, for anyone to do everything. Prioritize what is important and what must get done and let the rest fall where it may.
Once you know what you want in life and are at peace with your values and passions, you can truly lead a sweet life.
WHERE CAN YOU FIND DANIELLE AND MAYBERRY FARMS?
Facebook: Mayberry Farms
~ MUCH LOVE ~
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