So, we thought it be fun to make a run at this SuperBowl ad contest. Why not? We’d have to write an essay and find a good photo – no big deal. It’s what I (Lucie) do all the time anyway. Maybe Locally Laid (LoLa) would make a few more Facebook friends and we could tell our story of a different kind of agriculture.
Then YOU happened and boosted us into Round 2
I now had 4 essays and a video script to write. Our friend, Beau Walsh, came out to the farm and shot it in a couple of hours and stayed up most of the night editing it.
Matt Olin, our talented designer friend, was working ’til 2:30 a.m. on a VOTE LOLA sticker for egg cartons and a downloadable poster for our website. (By the way: “This fowl could be a real game changer!” – that’s all his.) And friends, Beth & Jay, at our local UPS STORE did a heroic turnaround on all these.
Google Analytics tells us we’re in the Top 4 (occasionally bouncing to the second spot) and — holy cats! — our little chicken from Wrenshall, Minnesota is a CONTENDER for this big national thing. Honestly, it kind of makes me float above my body, a little.
I can’t go buy a gallon of milk without three people stopping us to say they’re voting everyday. My favorite is when someone I don’t know hollers across the produce section, “Hey! Are you the Locally Laid lady?” My standard response is “Not as much as you’d think – farming is really tiring.” They stare, they blink and then…ah…the smile. Farming also requires a lot of humor.
Our blog is getting comments not just from nearby Two Harbors and good, old Duluth, but Texas and California and Florida. So we get it. (Monday I’m going to buy a spam filter for the blog, so I can reply to everyone more easily.)
This really isn’t just about one small-to-mid sized farm in Northern Minnesota. It’s a vote for a whole new food system. One where people have more choices and, hopefully, smaller farmers – the stewards of the livestock and the land -can afford health insurance, dental and a middle class lifestyle.
We also feel that our message of environmental sustainability is resonating. When a little startup like us can plant over 1,000 trees in a year, well, just imagine what the big guys could do. Using locally sourced non-GMOs and American-made tees and solar powered electric fences, it’s just part of our ethos. That folks are stoked by what are traditionally considered “unwise business choices,” well, this just gives us hope.
Of course, it’s nothing without the egg.
Thank you for noticing the speckled-brown shells, the vibrant yolks and a flavor I haven’t enjoyed since childhood. Sometimes we get virtual love notes like these. If you haven’t read what the Star Tribune Food Critic, Rick Nelson, said about what a LoLa egg does in meringue, well, it’s something else.
It really comes down to this: A chicken who exercises and eats fresh grasses will produce a healthier egg. I know I feel better when I’m trail running and eating salad. Our hens do, too. Really, it’s not rocket science, but you know, it *IS* science.
I’ll be honest here for a second….I’m a little scared of the bright spotlight. We are bound to say something stupid or somehow unintentionally offend swaths of folks. So, I beg you, if we go forward please forgive us when we screw up or look dorky. I’m going to try to have fun with it, but I’m honestly a little intimidated.
And thank you for your DAILY vote through the end of October.
Eat REAL food,