When was the project born? And who created it?
Fig and Fauna Farm was born in July 2011. My husband and I purchased a 3.5 acre farm. With the help of family, we were able to mend fences, build animal housing, put in a garden and renovate our farm house.
Where is your farm located? How did you find the right place and which qualities had to have?
Our farm is in Jupiter, Florida. We had to find a place that was close to our business in Palm Beach. We live in an agriculture subdivision that was established in the 1970s for people that wanted to live near the city, but raise their own food. However, we are a part of just a handful of people that still farm in this development.
Which is the philosophy at the base of your project?
Food is incredibly important and yet as a society, we tend to rush through it. It’s more than an act that we do to keep our hunger at bay. It’s much more intimate than that; food is something that we share as a family and it’s a kingdom of pleasure to the senses. My husband and I wanted to make deeper connections with our food, by raising livestock and growing a large garden. We believe that life amongst plants and animals is very enriching and the ability to raise our own food is rewarding.
Does the farm correspond to your ideal way of live?
Absolutely. Ideally, we would know the food we put in our mouth. We would spend quality time with family, working and learning together. We would be inspired to cook by the memories we have of our plants and animals. We would give livestock a life that they enjoy and harvest them humanely. These are the things that we strive to do each day.
Besides working in the farm, what is your job? Do you manage to combine the two works?
My husband and I own and operate Onblonde Pet Spa, a dog grooming, training and boarding facility in Palm Beach, Florida. We have certainly combined the two businesses. One third of our property is our dog boarding and exercise area. We live and breathe animals…all day!
Can you describe your typical day in the farm?
My three year old daughter and I wake up to feed and milk our Dairy Goats. We check on the pigs, cows and rabbits and we let the chickens out to free range. We water the garden and pull weeds if need be. Then we go inside to eat our breakfast! I homeschool our daughter, so we generally have an activity in the middle of the day. Early afternoon means it’s time to collect eggs and start feeding the animals again. We say hello to my brother who works with the boarding dogs and see many tails wagging! My daughter soon greets Papa and off they run to visit the animals while I make dinner. The early evening is my favorite time to garden, while it’s cool and moist outside. Scraps leftover from the garden and dinner always go to the pigs, so we visit them one last time before bed and make their bellies happy. We go to sleep with a loud fan to drown the sound of our rooster crowing at…4 AM!!
Do you feel that people in general are looking to a deeper contact with
I think people innately need to connect with nature, whether it be swimming in the ocean or hiking in the woods. Nature has such a great way of putting things into perspective. In my opinion, it is a large reason why people have dogs, especially people living in condos. Dogs certainly feel more balanced when they are able to experience nature and that’s a beautiful thing that they encourage their owners to do with them. Dogs bring people closer to nature.
Were you born in country families of did you grow up in cities?
I grew up in the city up until high school. Then, my mother, stepfather and I moved to North Carolina, where I worked in the after school on a horse farm. Working with horses was a great intro to farm training.
How much is internet important for you and your farm? Do you think that your
website is a good way to share your experience?
Internet is a way for me to stay connected with the world. I don’t leave the farm too often during the week, so it’s a necessity for running our business from home and really helpful for homeschooling.
I’ve received an overwhelmingly positive response from readers on Fig & Fauna. There are far more people interested in reading about our farm than I could imagine. I really hoped to meet others with a passion for food and farming and to inspire people to think of farming in a different way, by focusing on the most rewarding moments. Many people of my generation have been told that farming is a difficult way to live and that the work is underappreciated. I like to think that idea is starting to change and I do all I can to show others that farming is enriching personally as well as for family and the community.
all the photos are by rose martin