Yesterday, I got a call from a New Jersey woman, passing through Lexington, who asked if I was open. After a long pause, (while I tried to figure out what that meant) I mumbled a bunch of stuff about the sheep being here, and then somehow asked what she was interested in.
When is a farm OPEN? Or not OPEN?
Turns out she figured I had a little shop with wool items for sale. I told her the fiber shed is in transition and not heated and there was no stash of product right now, so she said, "maybe next time".
She was driving through Lexington and checked the tourism site (probably from her iPhone) and found Cabin Spring Farm and gave me a call. This is how it is suppose to work, but, we are listed under farm tours and cabin rental, so when she asked if we were open, I was a little confused. I would, instead, expect,"could we get a tour of your farm today" or "is your cabin available tonight".
What do people reading the tourism listing of "farm tour" picture in their mind? White farm house, surrounded by pastures with many sheep grazing and a little store that says "OPEN"?
Several years ago, I was in Tuscan and I somehow found out about a place on the edge of the desert where a woman raised a few sheep and I called and went out for a visit. A small fenced habitat with six or seven sheep, a modest home and a little shop, is what I found. She first introduced me to the sheep, which you could tell she loved immensely. She gave me a little history of her dream- come- true and touched on future plans. I checked out her shop in which she had some natural color homespun and some dyed with Kool Aid TM. She also had a few items that she had knit, for sale. She instantly became my hero and mentor. I talked to her a few times between that day and buying the farm but just having the memory of that day to hold onto was special.
We have accomplished much this year. Hopefully, next spring the fiber shed will be completed and stocked so that our visitors, after meeting our animals, can follow the processing of fleece and see and purchase something to take home. I don't plan to have an "OPEN" sign, though.