The 170th recipient is Bev Ross of Ross Roost Farm @rossroostfarm in Bainbridge, OH. Bev writes, “Five years ago we found our farm on 12 acres at the foothills of Appalachia in Southern Ohio. When I first started it was for self serving reasons. I felt like I had no control over what I was feeding my family. And it was leaving me feeling overwhelmed, scared, and angry. It took farming for me to discover what was really going on was severe anxiety, depression, and ADHD.
Once I started taking care of my mental health, making the switch to community centered farming over homesteading felt easy and natural. The main thing I farm here is joy (aka baby goats), but I also make goats milk soap with the daily milking pail, grow microgreens, and raise chickens and ducks for eggs.
My farm doesn't produce enough to meet the nutritional needs of my community yet, but what it lacks in physical output it makes up for in community care. Sharing snuggles from the animals, advice to those just starting out, and a helping hand wherever needed are some of my greatest sources of joy.
If I could give some advice to anyone farming for their community it would be to get involved and fill the gaps where you can. I serve our town with my whole heart as president of our local Lions Club, a member of the school board, and as a board member for our local theatre. The community shows up for me ten fold with support for our farm, a helping hand when needed, and social connection on the back porch around the fire. It's a beautiful thing to open yourself to such connection with those within your physical realm.”