2017 Grant Recipient Update: Hills of Milk and Honey – An Educational Farm
This month we reached out to our 2017 Grant Recipient, Amy Milliron, Owner/Educator of Hills of Milk and Honey – An Educational Farm, to be our first guest blogger to speak about how her farm reconnects people with the natural world.
Hills of Milk and Honey Farm, a one-of-a-kind teaching farm in Dripping Springs, hosts camps, classes and tours to not only offer the opportunity to truly understand and engage in farm life, but to learn about, and therefore support, regenerative agriculture and sustainability. Their 2017 culinary grant was used to further build a teaching garden and rain water harvesting system, and to support a summer camp. Additionally, Hills of Milk and Honey Farm plans to launch an interactive CSA program in which families have the opportunity to plant, harvest and engage in farm activities as part of their CSA membership.
An intense craving for groundedness is surfacing in our society today. Many adults reflect on simpler times when running around and playing in the mud was a daily given. Eating real food was commonplace regardless of the home you happened to land in when the dinner bell rang. Bare feet caked with dirt meant that you literally connected with the ground while at play. Approaching the night in filthy clothes was a sign of a great day.
What have we done? We have taken a simple concept of living life together in community, in relationship with neighbors and loved ones, and we have redirected our time, money, and attention to transactions. The focus has shifted to filling every minute with planned activities, leaving no time to be inspired or create anything. We expose ourselves to screens of one kind or another, many hours of each day, but we don’t get outside or read books. We eat nutrient-deficient foods from a drive-thru and we often don’t know where our food comes from. We don’t have meaningful conversations with others where we listen more than speak. And, we are modeling all of this for the next generation.
Adults have the benefit of remembering a time when people lived in community, cooked meals together, collectively watched out for each other’s children, helped each other mend, repair and remodel things around our homes, and gather in the evenings outside just to enjoy each other’s company. The current generation of children do not have that benefit. They have been born into this fast-paced culture we live in and they know no other way. This should frighten us, but, it’s not too late. There are plenty of opportunities to find that balance and give our families a chance to get grounded, quite literally. It can sometimes feel unattainable when there are so many things vying for our attention, most of which are on screens. However, the benefits of getting outside, touching living things, and breathing fresh air is so important that even doctors in Scotland recently started writing prescriptions for nature to combat mental illness and other maladies.
The educational farm, Hills of Milk and Honey in Dripping Springs, Texas is a perfect place to visit to reconnect with the natural world. There is nothing like witnessing a sunflower in a garden shift its petals to follow the sun, or milking a goat that makes the cheese that will adorn our plates, or collecting eggs from chickens that dutifully share to provide that perfect meal to start our days. Visiting a working, educational farm allows all of our senses to wake up. We touch, see, hear, feel and taste things new and different. We connect with other humans and with the earth. We eat meals on the farm and share ideas that inspire each other. We learn how our food gets to our plate.
Farm visitors often support local farms more with their purchases and cook more nutrient-dense meals at home after encountering nature in a new way at Hills of Milk and Honey. They seek out restaurants that support local farms. Children visit once and can’t wait to return! There is a community forming, centered around food, and how it heals our minds, bodies and spirits. This community is at the farm. No prescription required.
Buy your tickets online today for our Dinner + Farm Tour + Live Music event on Saturday, November 10, 2018 featuring the sounds of The Brian Wolff Duo. Visit hillsofmilkandhoney.com and note that pre-registration is required for all upcoming camps, workshops, tours, family days, and events. We’ll see you at the farm!