To: The Sweetwater Community and People Who Want to See Small Local Organic Farms Survive.
Many of you have already met Samantha Otto & know of her Woven Farmstead.
This extraordinary young farmer joined our market a few seasons ago, coaxing an
amazing amount of vegetables from a very small piece of leased land near Wesley
School in Muskegon.
Over a year ago Sam & her husband purchased a piece of property in Fruitland
Township. They worked diligently to clear that land, & had installed a greenhouse
(in the middle of winter) & shortly after that put in a well and were on their way to
realizing the dream of a new farm when through a visit from strangers one day
learned they had been sold the wrong parcel of land!
After consulting with the real estate agent who sold them the property Sam secured
the correct parcel and without skipping a beat deconstructed the hoophouse & well and moved it to the new parcel further north.
To try to explain Sam’s “get it done” spirit, you only need to read what she wrote
after moving to the new parcel: “It’s wild how vastly different this space is,
compared to what we thought we had purchased. In many ways, the differences are
flustering. So many set backs and losses and extra work going into the differences;
yet this land continues to shine with its beauty and offerings. I am grateful for this
space, and so excited to share it with you this season.”
The new property had to be cleared, it needed a road and the weather did not
cooperate. None of which stopped Sam.
Again from Sam: “Once the land was ready, we reinstalled the well earlier this
month only to discover it was dry. We then reinstalled it again, and again, and
AGAIN! We are currently on our 5th install and our 3rd set of parts. Between hitting clay, stripping threads, and wasting a whole lot of time, we are shifting our focus to other alternatives, and will hopefully have water soon!”
As of this writing Sam is bringing in water and doing as much handwatering as she
can manage. Several neighboring farms, Tortoise & Hare & Lundell Farm have
offered to help give her water in large containers, but CLEARLY this will not work for the field crops and the future of her farm’s success.
The growing season is here, and the professional drillers Sam has conferred with
have told her that she may have to put in a residential well. Which means she may
have to go very deep, maybe 200 ft deep. That will be expensive and that brings us
to our urgent request: The Woven Farm needs funds, immediately, in order to get water.
All farmers know that they will contend with the vagaries of the weather, and accept that without question as part of the cost of farming. But this is different; this is a
show stopping emergency. The growing season is here, and The Woven Farmstead needs our help, and the sooner, the better.
We are setting a modest goal of $5000 in hopes that we can quickly raise the
needed funds and fingers crossed, surpass that goal to help Sam get water to her
Please consider making a donation.
For the Sweetwater Local Foods Market
Diana Jancek & The Committee to Get Water for Woven Farm