The whole farm, the whole farm family….

by David

Almost 100 people gathered at Sperryville’s Old School House last night to hear about Holistic Management International’s plans for a new program in the Upper Piedmont.  The meeting also served as kind of a graduation ceremony and report for those of us who had taken part in an HMI pilot project for the past year.

Most of all it turned into a wonderful evening of making new friends and sharing experiences.  It wasn’t for more than an hour after the scheduled adjournment, that the last attendees headed for their cars.

Those of us in the pilot project had vastly different operations, both in the type of farming we do and in the scale.  One member of our group has just one cow on somewhat over an acre.  At the other end of the scale, there are farms with hundreds of cows and as many acres.  But all of us agreed, the program had been an enormous help in focusing our efforts on what really counts on the farm and in our lives.

The result was that we could not only see an improvement in the quality of the land but in the quality of our lives.  Knowing what you really want is the big first step in the HMI approach.  That leads to a more focused, efficient and profitable farm but most of all to a less stressful life.

We all agreed it was the best investment we had ever made in our operation; more useful and far cheaper than buying one more piece of equipment.

The evening was topped off by “light refreshments” prepared by Chef Sylvie Rowand, using meat and produce from our own farms.  No one needed a meal after those “light refreshments” and Sylvie proved once again what a treasure she is for entertaining in our area.

If you’d like to investigate taking part in the coming year’s program, please write us here at Thistle Hill and we’ll help you take the first step.  Our address is