|Dear Amazing Community,
Thank you for coming to visit us, reaching out via email, Facebook, text messages and so many other ways. Thank you for the incredibly generous donations OMG! for the meal train (which I thought I wouldn’t need at first but now am so grateful for)! For the volunteers and offers of everything from photographic services, to equipment, to architectural services to rebuild! Thank you for the outstanding chef/restaurant community that has offered so much support and offered so many benefit dinners, I’m wondering…how much amazing food can Seattle/Whidbey eat in the name of Willowood Farm? But I’ve been reminded that answer is… A LOT! And even a drink in the farm’s name raising funds (I could use a few of those, lol). Heck a Girl Scout Troop is donating all their sales from the month to Willowood Farm! I want to say, what??? We can’t take money from Girl Scouts!!!! But, we are learning to receive. (It has always been easier for us to give, than receive!). And we also are realizing how much our farm and that amazing, beautiful, outstanding old barn meant to everybody.
At this time of devastation we are grieving. And we are trying somehow wrap our hands around this crazy whirlwind of support and organize it in a way that we honor all of you that want to give, and allow you to grieve with us. And we are trying to figure out a way to “Grow Forward” as we are thinking of this effort now, in ways that honor this outstanding community support and, realistically speaking, keep the farming side of the farm afloat and, hopefully, “Growing” literally and figuratively. But we also have to find a way to get through the day to day things. I have found every morning I start out with a list of things to accomplish and by the end of the day, I’m just sort of spinning in circles. Finding a few moments to catch our breath, is important. We’re in this, after all, for the long haul.
If you have offered to volunteer, please know your offer was not unseen – we might just not had ability to respond and if we haven’t if you could please go to our new website and put your email into our volunteer contact page, that would be easier for us to make sure to get back to you when we do have volunteer opportunities. The website is also being updated frequently with what is happening with the farm, the many efforts to raise money via GoFundMe and a donation account here at Peoples Bank in Coupeville as well as benefit dinners (and many other types of benefits!) being planned on Whidbey and in Seattle! And we have a new sign up where you can offer your information to get on an email list for volunteers. Right now, that is best place we have to organize all the offers into a coherent spot where we can take advantage of all your generous offers, because, we will surely, surely need them as we figure out exactly what Willowood Farm is gonna look like, “Growing Forward.” We will be taking “farm work” volunteers as we have the projects that make sense. We will DEFINITELY be needing many volunteers to sort through the wreckage of the grand old lady and we hope to have more information on that process soon. And then hopefully, sooner than later, we will need volunteers to rebuild something that will never be the same, but will, hopefully, grace the prairie with beauty and presence, in perhaps a different way, but in way that honors the past while planning for the future. After all, I think we owe the grand old barn nothing but less than that. And I think, she would want nothing less.
For today, we’re gonna sign off soon. Farmer Georgie has plans to spend with her children and their 4H projects this weekend (fuzzy bunnies and silky kittens, what could be better than that?). And start fresh and new and reinvigorated with how to tackle this giant beast again on Monday. Because in the end, it is about moving forward, Growing Forward, that counts in life? Right?
Thank you again, for everything!
Farmer Georgie, Smith Family & Willowood Farm