How Weathertop came about...
We had always dreamt of having some land out in the country, but in reality had no idea what that might look like. By 2002, after several years of increased frustration with suburban life in Illinois, we were desperate for a change. On a cold and windy November day we had the fortuitous experience of stumbling upon Weathertop Farm, thanks to a friendly neighbor who was trying to find someone to buy the farm whole before a developer chopped it into pieces.
We fell in love with the land, and having spent the previous year or two doing a lot of reading and thinking about small-scale sustainable farming, we decided to take the plunge. We didn’t jump into this all on our own. In addition to having the support of extended family and friends, Weathertop Farm was formed as a joint effort between two families, Sarah & Cedric and Marianne & Sami (Sarah and Sami are sister & brother), and has remained that way. Sami & Marianne continue to be the long-distance partners in our farm. Sarah and her husband Cedric are the farmers-in-residence.
And so, in March of 2003, just a few months after that first encounter, Sarah & Cedric picked up their five children, a few belongings, several rabbits, lots of fledgling ideas and moved to the farm. It was a slow start: just rabbits at first, but soon followed by a few meat chickens, then some laying hens, and later a couple hogs. Each year we added a few more chickens, hens & hogs, and down the road some turkeys, ducks & sheep. We were fortunate to find a wide base of dedicated customers who have kept us going.
Over time, as the farm grew, it became our full-time employment and we are now blessed with more work than we can handle on our own. That led to the opening of an apprenticeship position for interested individuals to live and work on the farm and learn all about it in the process. Routine farm chores, caring for animals, poultry processing days, on-farm-sales, farmers markets, accounting, marketing, deliveries & sales, and of course 5 kids are some of the things that keep us occupied on a daily basis. But it’s the diverse and growing number of enthusiastic and appreciative customers who really keep us going!