By Stacy Reece
Social media is a wonderful tool for small business owners — like me — to find customers who may actually be interested in your products. Not to mention that life in a tiny red barn — making charming gifts for y'all, of course — can get pretty lonely. Finding new friends on social media can break the monotony.
Along the way, you find other entrepreneurs who are out there every day, living their own dreams. Since my family has a long agrarian history in Georgia, I can’t resist following Southern farmers and nurseries.
Among my Instagram friends are the folks at Providence Farm in McLeansville, North Carolina (@providencefarmnc) — in the rural country east of Greensboro. I’ve never met them, but they’ve stolen my heart. They are a Bicentennial Farm, a designation awarded by the State of North Carolina to families who have had their farms for more than 200 years.
A couple of weeks ago I came across this post.
“Daisy the sheep is days away from delivering lambs and her tummy is out of whack; James the #rescuehorse decide to lay down with his feet pointing uphill & couldn’t get up. , to the rescue & this is the second time she & I have moved a 1000 lb horse with a tow strap. The To Do List mocks me & grows longer at an exponential rate. BUT I wouldn’t trade life on this magic farm dirt for anything. PS - everyone is holding their own this morning & I’m chasing this ‘stupid, stupid dream’...”
Clearly, they needed encouragement. So I packed up one of my Bless Your Heart dishtowels and shipped it off to them — like fried chicken to a funeral. Given the condition of their pregnant sheep and their rescue horse with a penchant for lying down lopsided, I didn’t expect to hear from them. When I saw this on their Instagram feed, I was just tickled.
Then, I got a package in the mail this week! It was totally unexpected and just made my day. These darling little owls are bars of soap made with goat milk from Providence Farm. One is scented with grapefruit, the other with oatmeal and honey. I’m saving these for washing the dirt off my hands after working in the yard.
I am a Southerner who has spent enough time up north to know how good I got it down here. The South I know and love is turning away from old traditions that exclude other people, but we cling to the gracious ones that bless friends and strangers alike.
I wouldn’t trade being Southern for anything in the world. I don’t think Providence Farms would either. If you don’t understand what I’m talking about, well, bless your heart.