My name is Gloria Varney and I am a diversified farmer. I grew up one of 10 in a rural community in Maine with my parents who farmed sustainably and created most of what we needed to live on and with.
I graduated from the University of Maine at Farmington with a degree in community health education and nutrition. I married my husband Gregg in 1987 and have been together farming on his family farm since 1987.
The whole focus of Nezinscot is to better educate people on where and how food is created and grown by offering a place that they can see, taste, experience, and learn. The best way I can describe my role at the farm is that of a multi-tasked human being who loves creating, producing, and encouraging all that come to consider what I do as a lifestyle choice.
I am seeking funding for the continuation and expansion of our Boucherie (butcher shop) and slaughter facility. This would allow us to not only maintain a closed system, from pasture to table, but also allow for a continued education and learning opportunity for others interested in the art of Charcuterie (salumi, sausage, specialty meats, etc..) all done in a traditional manner.
The funding will help with the design of an on-farm slaughter facility and butchershop, as well as the construction of a smoke house and curing room for naturally cured meats.
What We Need & What You Get
I am seeking $75,000 in funds that will be used in the design of an on-farm butcher shop and slaughter facility as well as construction of a smoke house and curing room.
What is unique about our farm is the skills that both my husband and I bring to it. We are able to not only provide our own lumber, but also do most of our building, plumbing, heating and electrical with the help of a few family members; keeping the cost of the main structure down by quite a bit. We have also been slowly gathering up equipment for the facility over the past few years, which has spread out the cost of equipment needs.
Having paid my way through college by working for my Dad on the families custom slaughter facility has given me the skills to train and move forward with our own facility.
Initially the idea is to establish our facility so that we can do our own animals efficiently and effectively for re-sale through our farm store. From there, we want to open it up for others to utilize; either as custom slaughter, or state inspected.
We plan to work with local schools and colleges by offering learning opportunities for students interested in a sustainable food system and production as well as food and culture preservation.
Our goal is to begin designing and preparing the adjacent building with appropriate walk in freezers and coolers this winter (December-February) with the idea of breaking ground in late February of 2014 and constructing the floor and walls to be closed in by mid to late April. ($60,000)
We want to be able to construct a smoke house and curing room throughout the winter months that will be able to accommodate several hundred pounds of meat. ($12,000)
Having several floor plans for both an on farm bakery and creamery, I will be spending a fare amount of time creating a space that flows well, allows for educational viewing opportunities, and provide coloring that will not only be soothing for those working at the facility, but also for the animals that arrive for processing.
Lastly, my daughter Samantha is going to be in Europe for six months beginning in January of 2013 as part of her continued education from the University of Maine at Orono. Her degree is in business marketing and computer science. She will be attending Redding University in Redding England; taking classes in food production and policy systems. Her classes end in April at which time we would like to send her to Italy for an on farm internship at Spanochia or another similar farm opportunity to learn and gain skills in the art of charcuterie and other value added meat products ($3,000).
We plan on fulfilling our goals by mid to late summer 2014.
I feel my project is valuable in that I feel there is no farm as unique as ours. Both my husband and I work it, love it, and continue to invest any and every extra money and or energy we have in it to make it a better and more efficient place to work and raise our kids. By doing so, we have created a place where upcoming want to be farmers, homesteaders, craftspeople, foodies, and or people just wanting to learn general life skills can come, stay and learn all that we do.
I have in a sense, created my own class room at the farm for teaching all levels of community health.
From the video I have posted for this project, one can see our track record of the type of farm we have built, the projects completed (cheese room, bakery, farm store, dairy), and our commitment to all of the projects that we set our minds to doing.