A stylist/mom chats with us about becoming a farmer and starting her own jam label and the joys of country living. For more images on the farm check out our recent visit here.
Who: Heather Cameron
Where: South Surrey, BC
What: A mom, A farmer, A jam maker, A stylist and now an Author
Believes: I believe in karma, intuition, organics, sunscreen, and that a thankful heart is a happy heart.
Q: Missing Goat has been part of your life for the past 13 years? How have you found it has evolved?
A: It began as a little hobby that we didn’t put much thought towards. I wanted to grow flowers for weddings and events. That didn’t work out when the bugs came crawling out on the tables, so we focused more on the 500 blueberry bushes. We had a u-pick for about 9 years, but then when we certified the farm organic, it changed to a pre-order service only. Every year the farm changes in some way. This year we have two farm managers who are running the show down there for us. We want to be able to step back and enjoy summers with our daughter now, so they have made this happen for us. Having a small farm is a lot of work, and over the years, you learn what works and what doesn’t. Your head is filled with grand plans, but then you quickly discover that you are insane and need to cut back.
Q: There is part of you that is very much a city girl, no? How do you find the balance of living in the country but craving elements that the city offers?
A: When I first left the city, I cried. But now, as the years go on, I miss it less and less. I love going to the city for the day to shop and eat – the two things I miss the most, but then, I am completely ready to leave and come home. Don’t get me wrong, if I were rich and could have a place in the city and the country I would, but given the choice, I’ll always be a country girl at heart.
Q: What is your morning routine on the farm? First thing you do when you get up?
A: Look in my daughters room. Let the dog out, feed the dog. Make a cup of tea. Daughter is awake, make her breakfast, take the dog out and let out the chickens. Give them fresh water and food. Pull some weeds, water the vegetable garden. The farm crew arrives around 8am so I have a chat with Alexandra, then I hit the commercial kitchen to make jam or my daughter and I plan our day together.
Q: You have your farm, your styling gigs, your canning business, your blog, a new book launch and a wee one... how do you juggle it all?
A: I really don’t know. But I do know that I couldn’t do it without the help of my husband, my mom and hiring great people to help you get through a crazy time. I have days when I feel like a great mom, a terrible mom, or like simply getting a regular day job. But kindergarten starts for us this September, and I have a feeling that life is about to become much easier on me.
Q: What is the biggest challenge you have with all that you do?
A: A few months ago, it would have been simply saying ‘no’ to something. But this summer, I said no to almost everything that came my way. I had a book deadline to finish by August and that became my focus. So I started to say no. It felt really good. Scary, but good. Now I really have to make sure I don’t push this business in my daughters face too much. That worries me.
Q: What's next for missing goat farm?
A: I guess that would be our book launch in the Spring 2013. I’m so nervous it hurts, but everyone has been so supportive so I’ll be brave and see what happens. We are also talking about teaching classes. Everyone really wants to learn to make bread, can food, make pies and preserve jam. I guess I should give a shot. It could be really fun.
Q: Most challenging edible you love to grow?
A: Last year it would have been onions, but after 13 years, I grew a whole bed of big sweet onions this summer! Now it’s tomatoes. I can grow them, but they don’t ripen.
Q: What advice do you have for future young farmers?
A: Grow organic raspberries. There’s a shortage! Other advice would be that you don’t need a huge farm to be a success, but you do need a really good website, and happy clean farm for visitors to see. Also, love of what you are doing and it will draw people to you.
Q: Currently coveting and can’t live without?
A: My new very large Excalibur dehydrator is what I am coveting right now. I can’t live without my family of course, but on a personal note..my cherry chap stick, muck boots and Nuxe face wash.
Q: My mom was right about?
A: Dating that musician years ago and having a good work ethic no matter what job you are doing.