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Year in Review 2023

Every year between Christmas and New Year's, I like to sit down and reflect on the past year and plan forward to the next year of our farm business.

Like they say, you don't know where you're going if you don't know where you came from.

Am I right?

I recently heard a fellow farmer talk about their reflection process in terms of looking at the rose, bud, and thorn.

If you haven't heard of that analogy, here's what it means:

Rose = something positive or a highlight from the year
Bud = something that is budding or that you are looking forward to in the upcoming year
Thorn = just like you guessed, the "thorn" is something that was a challenge or is a challenge

I thought this would be a great way to look back at 2023 and look forward to what's coming for 2024 here at Lazuli Farms.

2023 was a year of a lot of changes here at the farm.

As always, the year started off with lots of big plans for growth for the farm.

I was jumping knee deep into learning how to make soap the old-fashioned way from the animal fats from our pigs.  I also wanted to dig deeper into using tallow to craft skincare.

We registered for a number of farmers markets and had big plans to open the farm store for more hours in the summertime.  We talked about hiring an employee to help out with all that.

We also had big plans to work on the cabin and get it ready for Airbnb guests.

By the time June rolled around, it was becoming very clear that we had bit off way more than we could chew.

In comes the thorn.

Between full-time jobs, the farm business, and real life, we were really starting to feel the burn of juggling too many balls in the air.

As a farmer and business owner, we are nothing if not flexible.  We have learned to pivot and make changes often over the years.

So, we sat down and made a plan.

A plan to simplify.  To make the farm more profitable while also giving us more time back to be with our family.  To rest.  And to connect.

So, we closed the on-farm store and changed to being open only by appointment.  We stepped back from the regular scheduled farmers markets.

We decided to make the slow transition over to raising animals seasonally and selling our meat in halves, wholes, and quarter packages. 

With the cost of everything rising this year (feed, shipping supplies, shipping, etc.), selling the meat in bulk means that we can offer you the best price on premium meats while reducing the need for us to handle every cut that comes back to the farm.

In typical Lazuli Farms fashion, you all showed up in a big way to support the changes.  We helped fill a lot of freezers for families this fall and will continue to do that into 2024. 

We look forward to continuing to raise pork & beef for families across Alberta and offering those seasonally each fall.  {Watch you email for your chance to hold a spot to fill your freezer in 2024.}

The bud from that thorn is the opportunity to continue to bring people closer to their food, to continue to care for animals here on the farm, and to create the right balance of life-farm-work.

Stepping back allowed us to enjoy more downtime as a family, to watch lots of Greyson's baseball in the spring and hockey this fall and winter, and time to focus on our own health & wellness.  We even managed to enjoy a week in the mountains in August as a family!

The rose of 2023 has been the skincare line development.

Over the past year, I have been passionately developing and extending the line-up of nourishing soaps and skincare products.  It's been a real treat sharing my passion for natural, non-toxic skincare with you.

The skincare line has allowed me to meld my passion for preventative health, my love for natural and safe skincare and household products, and my passion for ethical farming.  There's nothing more nourishing to our skin then the hydrating and nutrient-dense animals fats from the farm, especially those animals that are raised outdoors with lots of fresh air, sunshine, and room to roam.

We're expanding the skincare line into retail stores across Alberta and have plans to collaborate with more small boutiques and farm stores.  Check out the list of retail partners here.

You'll find us at a few curated events & markets in 2024.  Markets offer a unique opportunity to chat directly with you to answer any questions you have about the unique skincare offerings from the farm.  Find the list of markets & events here.

Our skincare is now available on our Etsy shop as well.  Etsy allows people from all over the world to get their hands on the skincare made right here at the farm.  You can check out the Etsy shop here.

I look forward to crafting even more luxurious skincare products for your to try and fall in love with as we head into 2024.

I honestly can't thank you enough for making our farm a part of your lives and making these milestones possible. Every time you share our story, buy our products, or connect with us, you are breathing life into our dream. I am filled with gratitude to be a part of this incredible community of customers we have built, and I can't wait to see what this next year has in store.



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