As the year draws to an end, I’m reminded to reflect on the experiences that have shaped me over the previous 12 months. As the director of Bellwether Farm, I’ve benefited from the opportunity to build relationships with many of the individuals who have chosen to bring their groups to the farm for retreats. The groups that have experienced Bellwether this year each have had their own agendas to accomplish, and our staff was always eager to help in any way possible. In an attempt to express the impact that Bellwether Farm is having on the world around us, here are some facts regarding the farm and the groups that have utilized this space.
Bellwether Farm welcomed more than 1,950 guests from 79 different organizations from all across the country in 2019. We served at least 15,630 individual meals, with every meal having at least one item that was produced on-site. There were 159 nights with guests staying in the retreat rooms or camp cabins. Fourteen parishes hosted their own retreats. We had 189 campers from 17 different counties. We awarded 64 campers $22,206 in scholarship money so that they could attend summer camp. We grew 43 different vegetables and harvested around 7,190 pounds of produce. We collected around 9,575 eggs. We had 11 baby goats and five lambs born in 2019. Volunteers logged more than 228 hours working on the farm.
This is a story of success, and we didn’t do this alone. You all did this. You made this a possibility and, for that, I want to thank you. You believed in a vision to create a place to welcome people from all walks of life to gather together to promote physical and spiritual wellness, fidelity to the environment, and social justice.