home grown || fernwood creamery
looking back through these photos, guys, this is my happy place. this little slice of pure country heaven, not only on earth, but right here in our hometown, ten minutes from my house.
let me introduce you to Fernwood Creamery.
jake and I had just finished watching an ugly Seahawks game and were three minutes away from throwing in the sunday towel. we’d stayed home from the fair with our family to enjoy a lazy, beef stew, reigning super bowl champ kind of day. our nerves were on edge, but like the family redeemer he is, jake smiled and told me to just pack into the car. so we did. and then he took us here.
we drove down the driveway and just like you’d picture, 3 folded armed men were standing at the end, as close as men can, engaged in what I can only imagine farmers discuss. a younger man than I expected, owner/father/farmer Todd Krause, greeted us with the most genuine smiling face and sad news that they were completely sold out of raw milk. (little did he know raw milk was only our cover for avoiding a family melt down. we just needed to see some chickens, yaknowwhatimean?) I secretly think Todd saw the look of sheer yearning on my face for a few family moments surrounded by pure country beauty to do a body and soul some good. we asked to just look at the chickens. he did one better and graciously invited us into their pasture.
we rounded the barn corner and were met with rolling fields littered with chickens, ducks, and mossy stumps, roosters, chicks and old farm gear and two of the sweets calfs you’ll ever meet. any shred of raw nerves we had left melted away. let’s be honest, you can’t be grumpy when ducks are quacking in rows, chickens want to be your new best friend and the setting sun is filling up everything it reaches with the most golden glow. I mean, you’d think I staged this. trust me, we didn’t. just pure grace handed to us in a moment of need.
Todd shared his story of purchasing this farm after it sat abandoned for 20 years. talk about redemption. the now gorgeous white barn was completely caved in and with the help of contractors, the Krause’s restored it to its fully functional, completely operational status. I have such a soft spot in my heart for a good barn and this one is such a beauty. covering the farm are the sweetest treasures. an old green truck: half old mail delivery vehicle during the war, half Krause boys’ playground. the original milkhouse built in 1929. a pond that freezes over for ice skating in the winter. Todd, his wife Kelley and their cutest 4 boys work together to sell fresh, raw milk, pastured chicken eggs, the yummiest raw honey and all kind of seasonal produce. guys, it’s the real deal.
after making ourselves more than comfortable in their pastures for many minutes, Todd shared that it was actually his son’s 6th birthday. *insert wide eye emoji here + the one with the embarrassed cheeks* what! I was so emotional. not only were we intruding on this sweet man’s family day, but he had invited us into his world regardless of a BIRTHDAY PARTY! who is that kind?? Todd is. do you think he was coming to kick us out? wrong. his sons and a cousin were about to dive into a stack of hay and search for candy and he insisted (trust me, he had to insist) that Zoey join them. guys, i’m crying again just remembering it. so much goodness! right here in this little world that I was so reluctant to move back into. I just had to open my eyes. my community building strategy was to start handing out love like halloween candy. the Krause’s literally beat us to it.
I just feel like I need to tell you, this project is not about getting free goodie bags from the coolest places all over town. Todd did not pay me to come to his farm. the Wakemans happened to him, poor fella. the only thing we left Fernwood Creamery with was the happiest photos, gigantic smiles and super special memories. we couldn’t even buy him out of milk to thank him for his unexplainable kindness. don’t worry Todd, you’ll be seeing more of us. and I promise not to crash any more of your parties.
guys, can I just say it one more time? get out there. find the Todd’s in your community. I already feel more connected to this place and you better believe the Krause’s are about to receive a hefty load of chocolate chip cookies. if you live near me, even sort of, the Krause family farm is worth your drive.
I need to mention, this was a very special experience. Fernwood Creamery does not have regularly scheduled events or tours. this is a working farm. while I strongly ask that you have the utmost respect for this family (I am very confident you will!) and not overwhelm them with spontaneous requests, a phone call first might grant you a chance to peek around the barn too.
we were so blessed that day. and every time I revisit these photos I’ll be blessed again. the Krause’s are our new friends and I can’t wait to think of ways to repay them and build on the olive branch they stretched out to us.
we love them already!
you can find Fernwood Creamery here