When you are young everyone tends to ask that 1 question that makes you think... what will you be when you grow up?!
For Adam this question was always an easy one for him to answer; Farmer and Pilot. Adam grew up on the family farm in southern Manitoba and he always knew one day he would have a piece of dirt and sow his own crop. That dream may have not always been at the forefront of what is happening but it was always there.
I on the other hand grew up in the suburbs and lived the complete and true city girl life. When asked the question, the answer tended to vary from marine biologist to doctor, depending on the day. I truly had no idea what passion of mine I wanted to follow so when Adam convinced me to give farming a try it was a matter of why not, what really could go wrong.
We packed up our lives in Alberta and moved to Manitoba to go farm with Adam's Aunt and Uncle. To say it was 5 years of experiences may slightly be an understatement. I made a promise to myself and to Adam when we moved that I would embrace the opportunity completely and see where it takes us. That farming life embrace in the first 3 weeks meant learning how to drive a grain truck with 16 gears (remember I am a city girl, the only stick shift I drove had 5 gears; but really what is a few more), burning my arm on our stove that had pennies between the fuses for connectivity, almost being stomped on by a momma cow as we tried to help her calf feed and last but not least getting left in the middle the cattle pasture in the darkness about 2 miles from any road or house. I like to call those first few weeks the farming initiation passage. Ha ha ha!
We had our son Ryley in one of our last years at the farm and we also recognized their were other dreams we wanted to accomplish so we left the farm and moved back to Alberta to be closer to our immediate families. Let's be honest, it truly takes a community to raise children and we needed all the help if we were going to pull off some big dreams.
Adam went on to pursue his flying career and I went into business. Adam's career took off, my businesses on the other hand flopped hard and well that is the reality of going into true and honest entrepreneurial school.
No matter the days, months or years that passed Adam and I would remind ourselves of how "simple" life was on the farm and how much we enjoyed the space. We hated the new marketing buzz words that were hitting the food industry and now our son was coming home using them as well saying "we shouldn't eat that because it isn't organic". (palm to face) We both knew this had to stop and we needed to educate our son where his food comes from, how it is produced and what entire marketing teams do to entice the buyer. It was time to get back to the basics! This is where the family project started. Ryley got himself some laying hens, we ripped up the front yard and said it will now be a giant garden. It was not long after we started this journey that we started to find people that wanted access to what we were producing. So, Lil Ryley Farms was created.
Our farm is not about marketing, it is about providing our clients with education, transparency and great healthy locally produced food. We want our clients to have the opportunity to get to know their farmer and know that our plant and animal health truly is our number 1 priority.
Our story isn't done, heck its just getting started! We have so many plans and dreams when it comes to the farm and we can not wait to grow and share it all with our community.