“People don’t think about what’s on the table. They’re just there to eat. Somehow we need to educate them what the food started from. Fresh by Nature is a great thing for Newport, to try and educate people and help them make the connection back to the farm.”
Jana Lovejoy, Apple Ledge Farm
Lifestyle refugees from Boulder, CO, Ned and Jana Lovejoy left behind 6 figure salaries six years ago to live in tents with two babies while they built their own strawbale house by hand and learned to live off the land.
Jana had grown up on a homestead with plenty of space to run around and animals and she wanted her kids to be able to grow up with gardens knowing where their food comes from.
The Lovejoys struck north from New Hampshire, where they had family, looking for somewhere quiet, out of the way, uncrowded and affordable, and literally tripped over Apple Ledge Farm. “It was love at first sight,” says Jana, of the property. “We feel our hearts belong here and nowhere else and we’re really strong believers that we’re doing the right thing.”
This stubborn belief got them through the early years with no electricity, no income, no support system and skeptical friends and family. Now they produce all their own meat, milk, eggs, vegetables and fruit, living almost 100% off the land. “We eat what’s in season. We eat what we have. We eat like kings and queens. And my kids have never been sick.”
What’s more, people are starting to seek them out for food. “That is really good for our souls, to see that there are people who share our values out here on the back edge of the forest.”
The hardest time of the year on the farm comes when the animals must be killed and processed. “Our strong belief is that everything stays on the farm from start to finish. So legally we can process chicken, ducks, turkey and eggs. To process our beef, lamb and pork for sale we would have to ship our animals off the farm, so we do it for ourselves and for friends.” Jana is in charge of the slaughtering. “I’m in love with all the animals so the only way I can see them go is if I do it. It’s the most difficult thing to ever have to do, but I strongly believe it’s the right thing.”
The rest of the year, the farm is lively and dynamic and open to visitors. “We’re very welcoming to people who want to show up and talk and walk around. I think it’s so good to educate people what actually happens to food in the world. And the best way to realize where food comes from, and see how well the animals and the soil are being taken care of, is to visit the farm. We’re pretty much here all the time, so pop by. You might see a naked kid running around in the summer, but if people want to stop by the farm, they don’t need an appointment.”