Our First Steps of Owning a Farm!
Hey tea tribe! We have been absent for what feels like forever! But we are back to stay, we promise! The 2020 roller coaster continues but we’re riding it to the best of our abilities. Let’s update you one what has happened over these past few weeks! As you’ll see, owning land with the intention of farming involves a lot of work and some humility. We’re still learning and invite you to join our process.
So we went over to the USDA office and the first thing we found out is that the farm has to be registered. This means that we have to emphasize that the land will be used for farming as opposed to land that one would use only to live. After that we went to the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) office to apply for the amenities that are provided by the county. These amenities include a greenhouse, land clearing services, pond digging, and more. We got a giant pile of documents and thought we’d never be able to understand how to fill it out. The lady was very nice and suggested we call someone else from the NRCS office to walk us through the paperwork.
For anyone, especially in Mississippi, if you own land we suggest that you do that first, if you have any intentions of farming. You have a higher ranking, from what we have discovered, if you are a beginning farmer, if you are a woman, and/or if you are a minority/socially disadvantaged person. We really didn’t know any of these things were available until we were randomly talking about how we would be able jump through all the hurdles of being able to afford a greenhouse, a well, and other desires for the dream farm.Then a farmer who overheard our conversation told us about it. One of the things we’ve found out in our tiny tiny journey is people are always willing to help, especially in our small community. We’ve also found that experienced farmers like the excitement that younger, new farmers have. It seems like farming and agriculture is dying out with so much of the younger generation gravitating away from the agricultural sector. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
So.. we filled the forms and are waiting to hear back for the farm year of 2021. In the meantime, Halima is moving from Oxford to Water Valley and right across from the house they are renting to live in while they build their house is an empty greenhouse!! So, with a pecan pie, pleading eyes, and hopeful smiles, we are going to ask the lady who owns it (and doesn’t use it) if we can use it while we wait out the approval of our own greenhouse. This is us asking and not being afraid (fingers crossed). We will definitely keep you guys posted.
Okay, so we have a juicy secret! Dria has been talking to me about Yoni steams and I’ve been kind of meh about the idea... Then someone approached me and said she trusted us, because she knows we grow our herbs sustainability, ethically, and free of pesticides (which you don’t want near your yoni). So we are adding Yoni steams to our inventory and we are really excited about it. We plan to have different blends for different ailments. Our first blend is going to be a cleanse that has lavender, rosemary, sage, thyme and oregano. We also are currently working in a blend of teas with orange mint in it. It is going to be delicious!
Last Friday, I had such a rough day that I came home and made a cup of our pure mint blend and just sat down while I savored it. It was so delicious. Both of us have always loved tea and we love it even more now that we know where the ingredients are coming from and how it’s being processed. It’s so great to drink when you're sad, when you're happy, and when you want to sit down with your girlfriends to gossip. In the middle of writing this blog, we went to the Tuesday market in Oxford, and a customer came to purchase two more bags of tea! She wanted an extra one because her grandmother, who lives in a completely different city, really loved it. We are telling you guys, Justevia’s tea is the next big deal!
We have big dreams for Justevia, including wholesale options for those who want herbs for different reasons. In order to make these dreams possible, we need your consistent support and well wishes. We’ve had such luck in our small city that we're being introduced to new people or given suggestions for the future and we greatly appreciate these opportunities. We’re always looking for learning opportunities, funding possibilities, and networking events. Don’t be afraid to reach out to us with any questions, suggestions, invitations, or just to chat!
We have also decided that we are going to start posting this blog once a week, because committing to one specific day as we are learning is too much pressure. We love you all and we will have more stories to update you on next week. Be sure to subscribe to our site so you get a notification whenever we update!