Meet the Farmers: Brian and Valerie Quant, White Rabbit Acres

TheQuants01.jpgWhen Jim and I told friends that we were staying on a farm with people we’d never met before, more than one person asked, “How do you know they’re not total psychos?” Well, my response to that is, “How do they know that we aren’t psychos?”

You don’t know.

But once and a while, you just have to make that leap, and have faith that the universe will hook you up with other good people and positive situations. The reason Jim and I are here today, living out this adventure, is because even during our most stressful times of trying to sell the business and home, we always truly believed that this journey would take place.

To convince ourselves of this, we taped this text in our bathroom cabinet so we could see it every morning:

You are
What your deepest desire is

As is your desire
So is your intention

As is your intention
So is your will

As is your will
So is your deed

As is your deed
So is your destiny

from the ancient Vedic text, the Upanishads

We truly believe that all of the good, or bad, that you put out there in the universe comes back to you a thousandfold. For us, we must be doing something right, because the universe keeps pointing us in the right direction. Most recently, we landed here with Brian and Valerie, two farmers who also share our inclination to take risks and follow dreams.

The Unlikely Farmers

Farmall02.jpgBrian and Valerie started White Rabbit Acres in 1999. Looking around the property and scoping out their farm equipment collection, one would think that farming is in their blood, but the reality is that neither one of them came from a traditional ag background. Valerie is a dental hygienist by trade, and Brian was a carpenter. Few would have expected these two to sell their suburban Florida home and get into farming. But here they are today, turning their love for fitness and health food into a fine way to make a living. As they say, they’re not getting rich from it, but the profits from the farm and their health food store are enough to cover their land taxes, living expenses, grocery and fuel bills.

Paying Dues and Learning the Ropes

When Brian placed an ad on the Organic Volunteers website looking for farm help, I jumped at the chance. This kind of small family farm is similar to what I have in mind for our next business, and I know we can learn a lot here. Some of the highlights of our work so far includes:

  • Taking care of the chickens
  • Helping out in the store
  • Marketing and selling White Rabbit goods at two local Farmer’s Markets
  • Sitting in on Brian’s biodiesel manufacturing
  • Learning how to operate the big red Farmall tractor

JimChickens02.jpgYes, everyone, you’re right. Farming isn’t easy. Brian and Valerie’s days are longer than ours ever were when we had our business. My back has been aching, I’ve been attacked by mosquitoes and chickens, and I haven’t slept in once. But the other day as I was digging in the dirt pulling up weeds among the new lettuce starts in the field, I couldn’t think of a better way to earn a living. The sun was out, the egrets were coasting along on the ocean breezes, and there were no phones, computers or annoying clients to get on my nerves.

VeroMarket01.jpgIt’s not easy to jump in and put myself in a new situation where I don’t know squat about the work I’m supposed to be doing. But if I have to pay my dues and learn the ropes somewhere, this is a great place to do it.

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15 Responses to “Meet the Farmers: Brian and Valerie Quant, White Rabbit Acres”

  1. Hi Curtis,

    White Rabbit is great. I think you should contact them directly for specifics though,, via the WOOFers website. When we left their farm was in transition.

  2. I am going to be quitting my job early next year and embark upon a year-long plus wwoofing expedition. I have already booked on farm and White Rabbit Acres sounds great for my next one. Would you care to share any specifics about their farm? Thanks.

  3. I love what you’re doing. You are a living example of all the quotes below.

    “When you make a difference in your own life, you make a difference in the world.” Neale Donald Walsh

    “Seek peace and pursue it.” Proverbs 34.14

    “You can’t get what you want in life, by doing what you don’t want to do.” Indian Guru

    “We have to decide for ourselves what’s nourishing to our souls, and to do those things over others.” Thomas Moore

    “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go and do that, because what the world needs people who have come alive.” Harold Whitman

  4. OK, tending the chickens, for those of you who don’t know…

    Chickens need things, like food and water. And someone has to clean out their filthy, poop laden nests in the coop. Simple things like that keep them happy and productive, and breakfast on our plates!

    But don’t let this easy list fool you; chickens are a pain in the ass! They are stupid and mean, and will peck at you all day long unless you feed them on schedule. I’ve learned that you don’t bust out with the feed bag unless they are all cooped up. If you let them out first, and then feed them, they will ATTACK!

  5. No argument with any of the above.

    My brother and my father both bought Harleys. I wonder why anyone would want those annoyingly loud contraptions when they could buy a Kawasaki or a Honda for half the price with twice the performance?

    Finally, what does tending the chickens entail?

  6. What exactly does one do while “tending the chickens” ?

    As for the BrittBike comment, how exactly is that different from a Harley?

    Along those lines:
    Q: what does Lucas stand for?
    A: Lasts Until Car Actually Starts.

    Q: why do the Britts drink warm beer?
    A: they have Lucas refrigerators 😉

  7. What nice-looking folks. And I love their tractor. Classic.

    Brian is into English bikes (judging by his t-shirt), so tell him this one;
    Q: How can you tell that a British motorcycle is low on oil?
    A: It stops dripping.

  8. Thanks for sharing the ancient Vedic text, the Upanishads
    That is my kind of thinking! And it is just in time!
    Have happy holidays – We are at Canyon Lake Texas ( Texas Hill Country )
    In January we head to Rockport Texas ( Texas Gulf Coast )
    Enjoy! Keep having fun!

  9. ya gotta get your hands right in the “caca” before ya know what it`s all about !

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