Anna Claire and Francois Novotny began Buttonwood Hollow Farm in 2012, but like all true love stories, it began long before that. We are both self-taught farmers, learning as we go by trying things out. We are highly curious about how things work and what practices produce the best results (happiest animals, most vibrant flowers, lushest pasture) keeps us engaged and excited for our work. We are often told that what we are doing is crazy, too much work, or too hard, but we like it that way! For us, life is about giving ourselves wholly to our family and endeavoring to be good farmers and stewards of the land.
Maybe this more eloquently explains it:
“Why do farmers farm, given their economic adversities on top of the many frustrations and difficulties normal to farming? And always the answer is: "Love. They must do it for love." Farmers farm for the love of farming. They love to watch and nurture the growth of plants. They love to live in the presence of animals. They love to work outdoors. They love the weather, maybe even when it is making them miserable. They love to live where they work and to work where they live. If the scale of their farming is small enough, they like to work in the company of their children and with the help of their children. They love the measure of independence that farm life can still provide.” ― Wendell Berry, Bringing it to the Table: On Farming and Food