Saturday, November 12, 2011

Introducing Firecracker Farm

We all hear the news and read the headlines, we know the world is a scary place. But I'm not going to start your weekend telling you about that hot mess, I want to tell you about something amazing that happened right here in Washington County last weekend. Read on to see that there are people out there living lives of charity and faith in a scary and unkind world.

Last weekend I was invited to a cookout and campfire over at Firecracker Farm in nearby White Creek. On the southernmost side of Washington County, Firecracker farm sits a few feet from the Vermont State Border. There, the Daughton Family lives a pretty beautiful life on their 5 acres looking over the Battenkill Valley. If you've been reading this blog a while, you may know the Daughton Family, but if not here's a basic history of our friendship.

I met Tim and his Son Holden on a pheasant hunting trip last fall when a mutual friend invited us both out to hunt with the help of his superdog, Cayenne. The hunt was great, and the company was even better. Tim and Holden were great teachers and patient with me in the field. When a missed shot left my hand bleeding from a too-fast safety snap, Tim simply took a glove out of his pocket and handed it to me without question. It was not a cheap glove, and I would be coating it in blood. Tim simply said "I have a washing machine" and smiled, and I was stunned at the generosity amongst the shotguns and flying feathers. Now, I know he was just being Tim.

A few weeks later in the office, Tim approached me to ask a favor. His daughter was getting married down in their recent home state of Missouri and he needed a babysitter. Not for his sons, but for his recent acquisition of a Dairy Cow Calf, a Holstein steer named Tasty.

I watched Tasty here at the farm and was thrilled to do so. It was the one and only time a cow ever spent time at Cold Antler, and feeding the little bottle calf was a lesson in both

So here's why I'm writing about Swiss Family Daughton. I was at their cookout last weekend and it wasn't just some party in the sticks. The Daughtons invited a group of families from their church up to the farm to offer a very special invitation. The people from the city were folks the Daughtons knew didn't have access to big backyards, green markets, or farms. These were people in apartments and used to a totally different world than the one of cows and chickens and piglets the Daughtons had. So they told these families this:

This farm was there's too. It would soon be turned into a working vegetable and grass-fed meat operation, and the families present would be the families fed by the labor of the land. Tim and Cathy did not ask for, or want, money. This was not about writing something off on their tax return or blind charity to puff an ego, this was a combined goal of a husband and wife who felt blessed to have the farm that they had and felt it was their message and work to share it with people they care about who don't. So this spring the family will be sharing their property with an inner city group of their congregation, and feeding them for free. Folks who will be eating off the farm are welcomed to come weed and hoe if they want, but they are not obligated to. In a modern world where people buy land, mow it, fence it, and do nothing with it but tell others they can't even step foot on it, the Daughtons are using the small acreage they have to feed people without soil. They are doing it because they can, and because that's what Daughtons do. If you're bleeding, they'll hand you a glove and if you're hungry they'll hand you some potatoes and a grass-fed burger. Talk about living your faith...

If you want to follow along with the adventures of this farm of believers, visit Say hello with a comment to Cathy (the author and mother of the clan) and share a word of encouragement. This experiment is a living animal for the family as well. They have yet to figure out how things will come together, and maybe some of you have advice or a word of kindness to send their way: I'm sure it will be appreciated.

There are not a lot of people working to take care of others these days. Let's wish Firecracker Farm luck, and strong backs. And for those of you coming to Antlerstock 2012, you'll get to not only meet the Swiss Family Daughton, but (I think) take a trip to their farm for a farmhouse style meal from their own bounty.

All it takes to make this place better, folks, is to decide we're going to make it better. And as for you, Firecracker Farm.



Blogger Marci said...

What a generous heart and lives these people have. It is giving us food for thought here on our farm. Maybe they will be the start of a movement across the country!!

November 12, 2011 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger Patsy from Illinois said...

May God bless them.

November 12, 2011 at 9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Daughtons are teaching us all beautiful lesson in giving. I cried as I read this post,and I thought of all the people this will touch, and the ripple effect it will cause. I have already added Firecracker Farms to my blog list, I look forward to reading about their farm and the generosity of this family.
Thank you for sharing their story with us.

November 12, 2011 at 9:23 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Thanks for sharing such an uplifting story. What a wonderful example of generosity--something I've been thinking about a lot lately. Looking forward to following their story. Thanks!

November 12, 2011 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger E said...

That's a heartwarming example. Thank you.

I think you meant "their's" not "This farm was there's too."

November 12, 2011 at 10:33 AM  
Blogger Tina - Our Rustic Roots said...

We all knew they were great people already, this is just another example of their generosity. May they be further blessed.

November 12, 2011 at 10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What wonderful people the Daughtons are! I might of never met them, but they've got some pretty generous hearts to share their blessings with others.


November 12, 2011 at 10:41 AM  
Blogger Zoe Tilley Poster said...

What a bit of cheer after listening to the dismal reports of npr all morning. Thanks for sharing this - it is inspirational.

November 12, 2011 at 11:25 AM  
Blogger Florida Farm Girl said...

Thank you for showing us another example of kindness and generosity. There are wonderful folks out there, but they seem to be overshadowed by all this doom and gloom we are bombarded with every day. Just need to remember the goodness.

November 12, 2011 at 12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing, Jenna. They are on my google reader now. :)

November 12, 2011 at 12:28 PM  
Blogger kippy said...

Just tried to go to Firecracker Farm but Comcast denied access and said site was potentially unsafe for possible identity theft or financial fraud. You might tell Cathy about this.

November 12, 2011 at 12:29 PM  
Blogger becky said...

Its nice to see that in this day and age when everyone is all about what everyone can do for themselves that people actually think about others and their community, its like a light in the dark knowing that the world isn't such a bad place

November 12, 2011 at 1:00 PM  
Blogger alemão said...

o mundo precisa de mais pessoas assim.....

November 12, 2011 at 1:02 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

I will check out their site...Thank you for the information! God Bless them!

November 12, 2011 at 1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am so very glad that the "english/spelling police" are out reading a great blog and then putting the blog writer in her place...wonder what they would do if they weren't allowed to read others minor mistakes?

November 12, 2011 at 2:16 PM  
Blogger Stargazer 2 said...


November 12, 2011 at 2:26 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

The Daughtons are wonderful people! I wish the world was filled with more people exactly like them. I read Cathy's blog every day now, and it gives me a happy little mental holiday from the bad news in the world. It's very inspiring, too!

November 12, 2011 at 4:26 PM  
Blogger Firecracker Farm said...

Wow. Thank you Jenna and all for the encouraging words.

November 12, 2011 at 6:22 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

God bless you, Daughtons! May your farm touch many lives.

November 12, 2011 at 8:23 PM  
Blogger Ann said...

Because of you, Jenna, I already read Firecracker Farm blog, in addition to many others that I have found thanks to you.

November 12, 2011 at 8:51 PM  
Blogger Ann said...

The Daughton's have found a unique way to tithe their bounty. God bless them and their family.

November 12, 2011 at 8:52 PM  
Blogger daisy g said...

What a heart-warmer!

November 13, 2011 at 7:04 AM  
Blogger Plant City Homestead said...

I am so glad that you have found friends like the Daughtons.

November 16, 2011 at 7:26 PM  

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