The story of Jacob’s Reward Farm:
Knitters gather. It’s what they do. That means if you knit or crochet, you need to find Your People. Sounds like an easy assignment, with the yarn arts growing in popularity every day and groups popping up in every community room and Starbucks in town.
But it’s tough, in fact, to find the right group with the right blend of people where you can feel immediately at ease and welcome.
Jacob’s Reward Farm challenges the status quo. The close but welcoming group of “Barnies” who gather at the Little Red Barn studio a couple of Saturdays each month hasn’t fallen into the traps that close off or disintegrate many gatherings of crafters. There are no cliques, no queens, no divas.
“It’s not that we’re hiding from the scary world,” says Kate, a long-time group member. “We’re refueling and restoring ourselves to go back out and fight the battles like the warriors we are… Life is rough. The ‘Barnies’ simply refill our fuel tanks so we can take our creative, compassionate, fierce stand out there in the ‘real’ (fake, petty, crass) world.”
- How a card-carrying introvert found herself called to shepherd more than sheep
- How a ridiculously diverse group of fiber friends sticks together against all odds
- How this unique farm environment has enriched our experience of community
- Why you need the companionship of like-minded artists
- How to find a welcoming, authentic community where you live
- How to become an adopted part of the LRB Community
From the Foreword:
Passing everything I knew onto Cindy Telisak was as rewarding for me as it was for her—maybe more so. And watching Cindy’s Jacob’s Reward Farm take its first shaky steps and then go on to become a thriving, sustainable and beloved business has been one of the greatest joys of my professional life.
Cindy and I are about as different as two people can be. We are pretty much on the opposite side of just about every issue you can think of and yet, there is one thing that we agree on whole-heartedly and without reservation: the best way to create something good is to give it away. You want love, respect, success, kindness, help? Then you need to give as much of those things as you can. You need to give them when you are feeling great about yourself but you also need to give them when you are feeling burned out, overwhelmed and exhausted.
Since that fateful meeting with Cindy all those years ago, I have had many business consultants and experts tell me that I never should have helped other farmers set up Yarn CSAs. That I would never build the business I wanted if I kept helping out the competition. That I was giving away the store, taking money out of my own pocket.
I just shake my head and laugh. Because what I have given away has come back to me a hundred times over. My pockets are doing just fine and my heart? Well, it’s overflowing.
The world can learn a lot from Cindy Telisak, and it has nothing to do with sheep.
Juniper Moon Farm
Author of Modern Country Knits: 30 Designs from Juniper Moon Farm