From nursing to farming: I talked with Melissa of Trippy Acres to learn more about their farm and what has motivated them to produce and sell their own food.
Can you tell me a little bit about your background and how Trippy Acres came to be?
“So I had been a nurse for about 10 years, but I also had a ton of education I took on the side and certifications in holistic health, food is medicine, things like that. I have always had a hobby of growing my own food, and the more I researched food as a whole, the more I learned that you just don’t know where your food is coming from. So, I started getting into my own food sources and really knowing that the biggest way I can support my health and my family was to grow my own food. And it just kind of blossomed and flourished from there. I always grew more than I needed, so I was always donating and giving, and I’ve had a lot of people come to the house and say ‘you should sell this’ and I always thought ‘that’s silly anyone can grow food’. And that way always my thought process. But I think the difference is people always don’t have the time or the money or the energy to really dedicate to it. Being able to support the local community with healthy food is a huge passion of mine and that’s where it’s always been based off of.”
Why do you think it’s important for people to eat local?
“Oh there’s so many reasons! First of all, it helps the local economy and the local people. I’m a big believer in going back to old school communities. I think that’s the best way we can support each other. Also because the food is healthier. It’s grown in the soil that you live on. So, if people do use pesticides, they are only spraying for what they need to spray for. It’s also fresher right from the vine -the food isn’t being shipped. Some of the food you get at a grocery store is over a month old, and it’s losing a lot of nutrients every day that it sits on a truck.”
How much time do you put towards working on the farm each week?
“Well in the spring and fall over 40 hours a week. I’d say 60 hours a week. It depends on the week too. When we’re processing our chickens that’s a 10 hour day. But between feeding the animals, taking care of the animals, rotating the animals, putting seed in, taking care of the farm, I’d say between 50-60 hours a week. But in the winter, it’s really just taking care of the animals and getting by because we really don’t have a garden, so there’s a lot less time. There’s more time behind the scenes like computer work and things like that. So I’d say in the winter 20 hours a week.”
“Oh goodness, so many things! I think my favorite part is just being able to have my own space to be able to grow the food I want to grow, the way that I want to grow it. I’m really, really picky. My background is in nursing, and I have a lot of education in holistic medicine, so I know from an educational standpoint that where your food comes from matters. But I think my favorite part is really being able to see everything going from zero to what we have here which is a table full of fruits and veggies. My second favorite part is being able to raise my kids in that kind of environment to be able to learn where your food comes from because I think that is a HUGE piece that a lot of people don’t really understand or see.”
What is the most challenging part of your job?
“The daily grind. There are days where you’re just like ‘ugh I do not want to get up right now and do this’ but you just have to and you just push through and you do it. But in the end, it’s all worth it 100%. There’s never a day where I wish I didn’t choose to do this. But it’s definitely the daily grind, just the repetition of it is the hardest part.”
Where can people go to buy your food?
We go to the Durham, Dover, Rochester markets. We also sell off our farm. We’re hopping next year to expand. We just bought our first set of pigs so next year we’ll hopefully be able to offer some pork products.