A Brief Bit about how we became Farmers
My name is Carrie Gorham. I have been an entrepreneur all of my life. One of my favorite businesses was a pet grooming shop. While I love the pets dearly what I loved most was being part of a community. Our next business was helping people with addiction. What I loved about that business was that we had an opportunity to offer individuals a hand up and out. I share this with you because as I went through this process of becoming a farmer and developing a business these were concepts that I brought with me. Community, helping people, and being an entrepreneur....and my love of animals..... I love people, brining them together, helping them, sharing with them, and learning together.
I have always found it kind of wonderous, the way the universe works. If you keep your “valves” open and refuse to get caught up in the pain of the door that just slammed in your face a whole new wonderful world will open to you. It was a struggle keeping my heart open as I said goodbye to that beautiful business of helping people. I am thankful that my husband, partner in crime, father of my beautiful daughters, Steve, is pretty good at loosening those tightly closed valves! He allowed me space to grieve the loss of our business and then championed me to open my heart up to the things I love, knowing I would find my way.
Just after Christmas that year (2019) as the girls headed back to college so did I. While I had been in college, I was forcing myself to earn my degree in what I was good at but not what I lived and loved to do. So, I did an about face, unenrolled in one college and enrolled in another college entirely.
I walked into the horticulture building, on the campus of SMCC, on a blustery January day. I was armed with my laptop, nestled in my pink backpack, a gift from my daughters, and a smile that never left my face. I had landed right where I was supposed to be.
My freshman seminar class required us to research new farming methods and provide a presentation on what we had learned. Dr. Despommier, the author of The Vertical Farm, a book I purchased for the research project, changed my world view about farming. I was so excited about this book and my research that it infected Steve as well. Life as Steve and I had once known it, was over!
With books like Despommier’s, and others, piling up around our house, we knew we had found the answer to the question of what to do next with our lives. The more we studied the impacts of farming on the environment the deeper our sense of responsibility to the earth grew. We had found a way to serve our community, care for their health, and rebuild the ecosystem. Grown Heeyah was born.