Today we’d like to introduce you to Brittany Bishop.
Hi Brittany, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I’m a wife and mom living in Grays, SC. I’ve been homeschooling my four children for nearly 10 years. Recently, I’ve added “novice farmer” to the list of ways I describe myself.
Amid the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, my husband and I felt the need to become more self-sufficient by growing and raising our own food.
With certain items in short supply and the uncertainty of whether or not a store would even be open, the reality of our dependence on what a grocery store could (or couldn’t) provide us was eye-opening, to say the least. For the first time in our lives, we were faced with the fear of potentially not being able to buy what we needed for our family, simply because the stores just didn’t have it.
Despite having practically zero experience with anything farm-related, we decided to start making plans to establish a small farm. At that time, we lived in a subdivision in the middle of town, with hardly any property space to work with.
So we decided to sell our home and after 5 months of living in limbo, (trying to buy or build a home in the middle of the pandemic was difficult) we had the amazing opportunity to buy the century-old farmhouse my husband lived in for 6 years of his childhood. The house sits on 6 acres which were ideal for what we were trying to do.
Immediately after moving in, we began buying livestock, making garden plans, and researching all the ways we could become more self-sufficient. I feel like our entire generation (even our parent’s generation) has lost some of the basic skills and knowledge needed to provide food and other essentials for ourselves. We’ve been so fortunate to live in an age of convenience where food is so easily accessible.
But with the help of YouTube, how-to books, and advice from older and wiser people with experience, we somehow managed to have a pretty successful first year on the farm. It’s been awesome to have our four kids learn all these things right alongside us too! The farm life suits them well! It’s been a great chance for all of us, really. There’s so much to be said for simplifying life and being connected to your food through the work of your hands.
Going into our second year on the farm, what began as a means of self-reliance has turned into a small business. Friends and family encouraged us to start selling some of the products we were growing and making for ourselves. Initially, I didn’t think anyone would be interested in buying anything from a small, family-run farm, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the amount of support we’ve received from friends, family, and the community.
I’m learning just how supportive people are of small businesses and it’s amazing! We established an LLC in January and I’ve been selling goat milk soap products and produce. With plans to grow and expand the business side of our farm, I’m so excited to see what the future holds!
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It’s definitely been challenging for us to start our farm from scratch, with basically no idea how to do anything.
I always assumed farming was just planting a seed and waiting for something to grow, but there’s so much more to it than that.
Even with knowledge on your side, it feels like frost, heat, rain, drought, summer storms, wild animals, and insects are all working against you.
As you know, we’re big fans of The Grays House Farm LLC. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
We’re a small, family-run farm in Grays, SC. We sell a variety of products that are grown and hand-crafted right here on the farm. We sell seasonal produce, goat milk soaps, handcrafted furniture, and more.
The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
Basically, the entire founding of our farm was because of the Covid-19 crisis. I don’t think we would have taken the leap of faith to start our farm if we hadn’t felt threatened by food insecurity.
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