If you’re from Montana, like Al and I are, you will know that we Montanans take tenacious pride in our state. We are home to Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, the Rocky Mountains, and a stable economy during an unstable time. We like to hike, fish, camp, and drink beer. We work hard and we play hard.
Celebrities come here to live on ranches, or write albums and books. Bikers drive through to get to Sturgis with a stop by the Testy Fest, which is such a wild party that it was featured in a Chuck Palahnuik book. We have fifteen ski resorts, twenty-one microbreweries, and just over a million people in the whole state.
We often tolerate people from other states, and welcome them with open arms only if they are willing to adapt to our way of life and our values—if you can put in a hard day’s work, drink a beer with us, and don’t want to take anything away from this beautiful state that we love, we can become lifelong friends. But if you mess with the charm, beauty, and magnificence of Montana—we’ll have words.
When Al and I discuss our dream for Primrose Station, it is with this kind of protective mentality in mind. We are protective of the open space near our property, so we want to purchase more land to maintain its beauty. We are protective of our health and welfare, so we want to reconnect with the land and animals around us so that we are eating food that we have had direct contact with. And we are protective of the legacy that we leave our children and future generations, so we want everything we do to be thoughtful and long lasting. In addition, we in no way want to build this dream alone.
Places that steal your heart include more than natural beauty; they include good people. My experience working and living in Missoula has been so positive that we’re staying there even though there aren’t a lot of high paying jobs and our “international airport” only flies to Canada.
My expectation for the next year, is that we will connect with people already working in cooperatives, coalitions, and networks across the state that value local meat, produce, and products. These folks have already been investing their time and energy into getting healthy food distributed all across our valley, and we are excited to be another spoke on the wheel of this food distribution network.
The closest thing right now to a “food hub” in our area is a (cough!) gas station! Our competition will be Monster energy drinks and M&Ms and that’s okay…we just hope people will also stop by our roadside stand to have some fresh berries and buy a dozen free-range eggs—laid for them by our Bearded Ladies and Ms. Oglethorpe.
I feel like we’ve just opened ourselves up to an extended family of people that we haven’t even met yet. So, we’ll be here, working hard/patiently waiting for you to come pay us a visit. Here’s to good health, new friends, and Montana!