The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

That's a mantra we live around here. Every individual has remarkable talent, but that talent is worthless in the absence of other people. A wise friend of mine regularly states that it's up to each of us to pull the talent out of the people we encounter in our lives, thus maximizing both existences. A small business is a reflection of its owner, and a collection of small businesses are a reflection of the town, so we believe the same logic applies to local economics as it does to people: it's up to all of us to pull the greatness out of economic drivers within our neighborhood. They'll never reach full potential in the absence of a greater whole.

You can see, I hope, why our farm is structured the way it is. We're not a consignment shop, which boils multiple talents into one commerce channel, we're a launchpad where individuals actively engage themselves, for the betterment of their own business, supported by others. Many engaged people create one outstanding hub, the collective vibrancy of which draws folks from near and far to see what's happening. What a glorious world to work in.

So, Little Sprouts Produce? That's a business owned by a family. They're altogether independent, and they maximize the productivity of our farm by utilizing land to produce vegetables for a shared customer base. Farmhouse Flowers is the same; Lynne grows all of the fresh cut flowers you see in the Beef Barn (they're selling like crazy). Yet, it's her business that she can take any direction she wants. How freeing is that compared to the standard retail monotony of order in, order out? Ty Kepler, owner of Ty Kepler Photography, is fully involved in our apparel, website, and photography. He's the vision behind new recipes that encourage people to cook at home, for the love of food. Each of these avenues contribute to his own business, and he can follow any path he chooses. The Clarion Farms Event Barn is a venue for individual expression in the form of food and music. Indeed, the old barn remains static, but the restaurants and musicians who utilize it make the space unequivocally unique (Autumn in the Air - Banquet in the Barn by Clarion River Brewing Company happens on Saturday, September 14 - email Jeremy at for tickets!). How drab would it be if the Event Barn simply supported itself? All we'd have is another entertainment center vying for attention in a crowded market. New to the scene is Touch Of Grace by Tiffiny. Tiffiny makes impossibly detailed floral decorations out of wood, and you'll find her work in the Beef Barn. Follow her page (and ours) to see when the artist herself will be in the store, answering questions and adding the vital personal commitment to her micro-storefront at the farm. The first date is scheduled to be Thursday, September 12 in the afternoon. Crystal Siebka manages a mini outlet for herbal soaps, antiperspirants, insect repellents, and more. Oh, and our family? We raise and sell BEEF.

All of the above are independent. All the businesses require personal dedication from the owners. And each adds a unique flavor to the entire business environment, creating an experience that’s synergistically amplified for customers.

We’re starting a new era of small business and community engagement. What fun!