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Allison Edwards of Schoppee Farm and Seattle ELderberry

MOM ON A MISSION: Meet Allison Edwards of Schoppee Farm

Escrito por: Holly Cooper


At Seattle Elderberry, we believe in nurturing families and promoting regenerative agriculture that nourishes both people and the planet. Our "Mom on a Mission" series gives a peek into the lives of moms who are driving the vision and mission of Seattle Elderberry forwards. This week, we're honored to feature Allison Edwards, the passionate co-owner of Schoppee Farm- a certified regenerative organic hemp farm in Downeast Maine. Allison is also a part-owner of Seattle Elderberry. In this insightful interview, Allison opens up about her journey balancing motherhood with operating an environmentally-conscious family business.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your family. What made you decide to live on the farm?

Hello! My name is Allison Edwards and I am a wife, mother and part owner of both Schoppee Farm and Seattle Elderberry. I was born and raised in Machias, Maine and spent years away from home traveling and living abroad before returning to finish my degree at the University of Maine in Machias. That was when I met my now husband Ben Edwards and we chose to make Downeast our forever home. I graduated with a bachelor's in Elementary Education and worked at the local elementary school until Ben and I decided to restart the farm in the pursuit of breathing life back into the old property and building a trusted and sustainable hemp farm in 2018. Fast forward six years, and both our business and family have grown. We now have two beautiful daughters and continue to expand what our farm offers with many dreams of the future.

What does a typical day look like for you as a mom living and working on the regenerative Organic Schoppee Farm?

A typical day for me on the farm is filled with people! Our businesses primarily operates out of our basement, and the surrounding property is where the hemp is planted. My girls and I go wherever we are needed and have close relationships with our work family here. During the spring and summer months, that may mean participating in outside chores or projects, or if you are my oldest daughter, riding co-pilot in the tractor with Ben. Through the fall and winter, that would be harvest and any in house production. My main role is a mother with work scattered throughout the day. I enjoy prepping and cooking all of our meals with fresh eggs from our chickens, homegrown veggies, and baking bread in my kitchen with my oldest daughter. We garden, take care of the home, and spend time with all who work and live here. Now that I am moving out of my postpartum phase with my youngest, after bedtime my evenings are spent planning the farm social events (weddings, rentals, events etc.) and working on creative projects for Schoppee Farm with my husband. 

How has living and working on the farm impacted your life as a parent? What are some of the benefits for your young family?

Living and working on a farm as a parent has shown me the value of “stillness.” Next to motherhood, farming has taught me to slow down. Right now my days are strings of simple moments. I have started to appreciate the beauty and importance of those simple, quiet moments. It can be hard not to feel restless when you are home with young children or staying close to home because your crop or business won’t let you go too far. But this adjustment to my life has brought presentness, and I’m able to see how magical everyday life can be and how those small moments really are the whole reason we live. I think it's an important lesson for a young family, as cliché as it sounds, but to really enjoy the little things, in a world where it's hard to just be “still.” 

What's your favorite part about raising your kids in a farm environment? What valuable lessons do you hope they'll learn?

My favorite part of raising our kids in a farm environment is the value of community. Our entire life is community and collaboration. If I’m needed on the farm, there is someone here ready to hold the baby or help get my oldest her lunch. We truly work together here, in all aspects of life. There are also so many other important daily lessons. Respecting all living things, big or small; understanding how we care for our plants and how those plants, in return, care for people. The way we treat others and always making everyone feel wanted and welcomed here. Patience in watching things grow and the reward of the harvest.

How do you juggle the demands of motherhood with the responsibilities of running a regenerative organic farm? Any tips for achieving work-life balance?

When it comes to work life/mom life balance, what makes that feel truly possible is the communal environment we have built here. Our business is in our home so I have kind and trustworthy people here at all times. If I am in a pinch, there is someone around who is willing to help out! The girls can also be involved with basically all that we do. They are very much integrated into the daily farm life so wherever I go, they can go. It helps that our children have close relationships with the people we work with and who are willing to let them help. Building our community has made all the difference. I also love an early bedtime! I keep everyone here on a pretty tight nap and bedtime schedule so that there can be time to think and plan. 

What inspires you most about the partnership between Seattle Elderberry and Schoppee Farm? How does it align with your values as a mom?

What inspires me the most about the partnership between Seattle Elderberry and Schoppee Farm is that both companies are driven by the need to care for people. We are family oriented and want to create products and experiences that nurture people the way we nurture our own families. Keeping those we love healthy is why we started, and together that is what keeps us moving forward. As a mom I spend my life protecting my children and trying to keep them healthy and strong and that is exactly what we do through this partnership. The products being created are ones we made because we only want the best for our kids and the ones we love, so that is how we are going to treat our customers.

What's the most rewarding part of being a "mom on a mission" - both for your family and for the broader regenerative agriculture movement?

The most rewarding part of being a mom on a mission is seeing the fruition of our efforts through my children's eyes. We are quick to believe children aren’t digesting what we are saying, or our everyday actions, but they absolutely are. When I see the mirrored behaviors from my oldest daughter, that's how I know we are on the right path. She is very conscious of where our food is grown, what each season brings and what that means for her garden, about the “good” bugs that protect our plants, or why the field is full of radishes as a cover crop. So much knowledge already about working with the land that would make the eight generations before her proud.

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