MURPHY FARMS JOURNEY TAKES A NEW TRAIL
March 30, 2017
We have some changes on the horizon and want you, our faithful customers and friends, to join our journey. Many of you know how I started my journey into the organic produce industry; leaving a healthcare career and a bustling urban environment with my two daughters and returning to my rural roots in Walters, Oklahoma. A lot of love for the land, an old auger and a few fruit trees blossomed into a 160-acre farm, 600 fruit trees and a 28,000 sq ft greenhouse. Wow, we have grown in 13 years!
The journey has been arduous and occasionally met with resistance from the non-organic enthusiasts, but always rewarding. Nevertheless, we kept moving forward; planting more trees, digging more rows, planting more seeds and pulling more weeds. Every opportunity was taken to tell more people about the health benefits of consuming certified organic food; accepting speaking engagements at agricultural agencies, schools and universities. To become more environmentally responsible, we went to Israel to learn the expertise of irrigation in an arid environment. We employed local, loaded trailers and took our produce to customers in Lawton and Duncan (Oklahoma). We traveled with the Balloon Festival, cooking up delicious organic food from our food truck. And, all the while, working our way into becoming the largest USDA certified organic farm in southwest Oklahoma.
The journey has included my two daughters, my parents, a few farm hands and some precious local people who help us package the food for selling. Loading trailers at 2am to drive to Lawton, setting-up tables, unloading the trailer and selling our delicious produce to customers has been a labor of love. Our customers have become friends and we look forward to seeing each of you every Saturday.
With the occurrence of a few unexpected situations, the next phase of the journey is being pondered. Many thoughtful conversations have been held to determine how to faithfully serve our customers and become more productive with our time. A large food distributor has expressed interest in having Murphy Farms grow unique organic produce for a national organic grocery store and upscale restaurant customers. Partnering with this company would achieve a goal of providing our produce to a larger population. The company would come to Murphy Farms, load the produce into semi-trucks and deliver to their customers.
Another factor to consider is my parents are growing older and the farm work is becoming too laborious for them. As many of you know, mom (Nana) fell and broke her hip and is going through physical rehab. With these two situations in mind, we had to think back to the reason we originally started the farm. That reason was my heart wanted a slower, country pace. With that in mind, we determined to create that same experience for our customers.
To create that nostalgic experience, a general store at Murphy Farms is being created so our customers can experience the farm and enjoy a cool morning or a sunny afternoon. The chance to disconnect from the city, relax and take a short drive with the family just like we used to do on Sunday afternoons. Remember when we would drive with family into the country, roll the windows down, stop and talk to friends or family, sit on their front porch, share a story or share a sorrow? Real conversations with real people; a more peaceful way of life.
That is what we are creating for you. A general store where you can select your certified organic produce, raw honey, fresh baked breads and enjoy a delicious meal from our certified organic commercial kitchen. And, coffee, did I mention wonderful, aromatic, organic coffee?
The general store should be ready to open in Fall 2017. Our Saturday trips to Lawton and Duncan will be intermittent beginning in April. To keep our customers informed, we will post the days we will be in Lawton and Duncan on the Murphy Farms homepage and Facebook. Texts will also be sent to those of you who provided your cell number. When the store opens, we will only be selling at the store.
We hope you will continue on this journey with us as we create an inviting, peaceful place down on the farm. We are so appreciative of your faithfulness and friendship. Thank you for sharing in our journey thus far, for helping us grow, encouraging us and enjoying our USDA certified organic fruits and vegetables. We could not have achieved all we have achieved without you.
So, when the general store opens, come on by and I’ll even show you that old auger we still use to plant the best peach and apple trees ever grown!
Elisabeth Murphy and the Murphy Farms crew