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Big Little Farm Dreams

by Alexis Champagne | Like many of you reading this, I streamed the Biggest Little Farm on Amazon Prime and fell in love with what agriculture could look like. That’s just it though, what it could be – not necessarily what it is now.

My name is Alexis Champagne and I am one of the newest members of Gwenyn Hill’s team.  I am joining as an Organic Vegetable Farm Management Apprentice and could not be more excited. My background extends to various industries including mechanical engineering, culinary arts, and team management, all of which have prepared me to be here on an organic farm. Crazy, right?

Making Napoli style pizza

When the pandemic hit last year, my career in the wedding industry came to a screeching halt.  I had been living outside of Boulder, Colorado for about 5 years and I quickly realized it was time to head back to my home state, Wisconsin.

The move was challenging for me in more ways than one, but the time and energy I was able to spend on connecting with what I wanted to do with my life and who I wanted to be became invaluable.

Countless hours hiking in the woods, reading books, and experimenting with new recipes led me to blending my relationship with the outdoors and my experience with food. I yearned to raise ducks for eggs and grow vegetables to last my family through the winter. I pondered my livelihood and what it might look like to do exactly what I wanted. 

People wiser and older than me have said to do what makes you happy. Most of the time, it’s not that simple. What would I choose if it were that simple? I bought a sketchbook to use as a journal, something my wife inspired me to do. Words. Images. It was all fair game and landed on the page.  Before I knew it, summaries of raising livestock and starting seeds filled the journal. Ideas for agritourism and CSA programs were scattered among processing guidelines and food forest dreams.

Day after day I opened the sketch book and looked forward to a future I could get behind utilizing not only my passion for food but my how-it-works engineering mentality and business expertise as well. I knew I needed to get some more hands-on experience and that led me to Gwenyn Hill Farm.

A product I designed in engineering school.

As a young woman new to farming with dreams of going against the grain (pun intended), I expect many challenges.  However, I also look forward to future rewards. We all have to eat…usually multiple times a day.  I believe everyone should enjoy the process in one way or another, and that is what I would like to spread to others through this journey.

I am so excited to get my hands in the soil and to be surrounded by the experienced team at Gwenyn Hill. I look forward to learning more than I ever could on my own and hopefully contributing in a way that leaves me a fraction as valuable to them.  

You, as our customers, make this all possible.  Your belief in Gwenyn Hill’s practices and products allow me to grow as a farmer and to carry the future of farming. Thank you for taking the time to get to know me, and I hope that I have the privilege of getting to know you someday soon. Be well and happy eating!

Alexis Champagne worked her way up from dishwasher to Executive Chef without culinary training.

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