What are the 6-S's of 6S Family Farm?

March 11, 2022

If you've been wondering what the 6-S's of 6S Family Farm are ... you're not alone. We have lots of people ask "why 6S"? So we're answering that question right here ...

The name 6S Family Farm has 3 layers of meaning to us:

First, there's the story behind the name ... Shortly after Rick and I got married we met a couple who had much the same dreams and aspirations for their life and future family as we did. Though we didn't know it at the time we met them, we later found out that we were married on the same day and time in the same city and as such shared the same anniversary. On our first anniversary they showed up on our doorstep and gifted us a farm. Not even kidding! They gave us a whole farm! Well kind of ... they gave us a "tiny farm" model that they had built out of cardboard boxes and dollar store farm toys. :) On our "tiny farm" there were rolling hills and a stream, a cute little log cabin and cows and pigs and sheep and chickens. The best part however was they had made a sign for the gate that said 6S Family Farm. (they chose this because they knew we wanted to have 4 kids someday and of course our last name is 'Stephens'). Neither of us as young married couples had more than 2 nickels to rub together so 'real' gifts were not something we indulged in much. Looking back however, of all the things I've ever been given in my life this definitely rates right up there! It was thoughtful and creative, took time and energy, showed that they knew us well and of course it made us laugh! Anyways, we loved it and the name stuck. We do indeed have 4 kids and in one sense we ourselves are the 6 S's of the farm. But wait there's more ...

Over time the meaning of 6S evolved in our minds. Our goal is to be able to have both of us working full time on the farm and we're working our way there. So the 6S part of 6S Family Farm also represents the fact that this is our definition of success. To be able to do the work we love, with the people we love, in a place that we love is most definitely one of our definitions of life success (6S). It certainly isn't always roses and it's rarely easy but it is oh so worth it!

But wait there's still more! We also have 6 guiding principles by which we farm and care for our land and animals. Each of them is represented with a word beginning with S. It's been a while since I shared them so I'll add them in here for you now in case you haven't read them before. These principles help us stay on course as we make decisions in our business and life.

6S Guiding Principles

STEWARDSHIP - At 6S we believe "The earth is the Lord's and everything in it." Psalm 24:1 as such it is our aim to be good stewards of everything that is under our management. We know the choices we make are like ripples that have a great impact on our land, animals, family, community and region. We want those to be the most positive, beneficial ripples possible.

SOIL HEALTH - Healthy, biologically active soils lay the ground work (pardon the pun) for every healthy living being that is supported by them. All of our practices at 6S are geared to increasing the health and vitality of our soils. (Fascinating fact: there is more life inside two handfuls of healthy soil than there are people on the planet!)

SUSTAINABILITY - When we began 6S it was our goal to be a sustainable farm, however as time passed we realized we wanted to be much more than that. Sustainability implies maintaining the status quo, it is now our goal to constantly be regenerating (improving) the health of our soils and all the life dependant on them.

SEASONALITY - At 6S we strive to work within the rhythm of nature here in our beautiful valley. By growing and eating seasonally and learning to work with nature rather than against her we can drastically decrease our carbon footprint at the same time as we make decisions that benefit our livestock and our people.

SIMPLICITY - Why overcomplicate things when we can simply follow nature's successful template? We strive to replicate natural systems on our farm and reap the benefits of living and working in tune with nature.

SUPERIOR PRODUCT QUALITY - Ultimately the above 5 points mean nothing unless we have a wonderful, well informed, switched on customer like YOU to get behind what we're doing here. We're proud to supply you with the best and healthiest products available from our farm and from our collaborator farms throughout the valley.

Eat With Confidence!

Joy Stephens

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