I intended to write this post way back, but to be honest it has been a serious struggle. This topic is pretty close to my heart so it’s been hard putting it into words. I find myself immersed in what I feel is an important role in the world. Maybe that’s just a foolish assumption but I feel like I’m finally doing something AWESOME. Waking up everyday I feel honored to be an Employee Owner and Representative for one of the most conscience corporations in the world. Just as I’m feeling warm and fuzzy about life I’m forced to roll my ass out of bed to clean out the chicken coop and trudge through pig shit in the subfreezing predawn hours. Reality… and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
2006 was the first time that I visited New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, Colorado. As a child, my only memory of beer was my uncle drinking a Yuengling at hunt camp or the occasional adult beverage being enjoyed at a yearly family party. I also remember my dad traveling to Austria and Germany to visit relatives and bringing back one or two bottles from historic breweries. These are the only memories I have of craft beer prior to moving to Colorful Colorado. Shortly after my relocation to study at Colorado State University I toured the brewery for the first time. I was absolutely blown away by how stoked every single employee was to be on the clock. My understanding was that people went to work to make money not to gain happiness. This place totally blurred those lines.
Driving into The Fort for the first time one can practically smell the dank hops and malty goodness exuding from the multitude of craft institutions. As of 2006 this place was truly Beer City USA (10 years prior to Ashvegas, North Carolina holding the title). Long story short, in October a decade ago I decided I would someday be a part of this great company. Truly inspired by ownership commitment to a super strong set of core values and beliefs and our triple bottom line: Profit, Care of People (Employees and Community), and Planet (Sustainability). So proud to be the face of proving that business can be a Force For Good though corporate and social responsibility.
With that being said I remember the first time that I heard the term Follow Your Folly… it was a phrase that was mentioned briefly on the tour of the facility. It didn’t make sense at all. A Folly: by definition: maddness , a dumb idea, a misguided plan, or foolery. Why would a company represent themselves in such a way? After immersing myself in the company culture as a serious fanboy I came to understand the saying much better. If you hold conviction for something in your heart it doesn’t matter what anybody else has to say about it. Seeing plots and schemes and hopes and dreams to fruition often takes a little going against the grain.
We invest every penny into this project.
We are tired.
We have 100+ mouths to feed.
We don’t have days off together unless we plan them months in advance.
We work full-time jobs on top of the full-time job of homesteading.
We have sore bodies.
We need a new truck.
….and the list goes on.
WHY do we put up with this stuff? Because we have so freaking much going for us right now
We moved to our dream area… The North Carolina Mountains
We fell in love.
We are getting married.
We landed rad jobs
We bought a cool property.
We started a farm to provide for ourselves and others.
….and the list goes on.
In 2016 Casey and I met. A week later we took our first adventure together… to Folly Beach, South Carolina. Later in the year we went back to Folly Beach and got engaged. Two days later we got an Australian Shepard and named him Folly. In a matter of months we managed to pull off acquiring land and a home (a blank slate). With a joined passion to Follow Our Folly we named this special little place Folly Farms and got to work.
No matter what others may say or the experiences that may discourage, we’re going to stick with this thing called Life. Mark my words we will Follow Our Folly to The End.