Miky Eum is the farmer and owner of Humbleweed Farm in Champaign, Illinois. She recently completed Farm Dreams Intensive, the first part of our three-part training program Stateline Farm Beginnings®. Helping farmers like Miky turn their farm dreams into reality is our goal, and we hope Miky's farm dream story inspires you as much as it does us.
During my first growing season as Humbleweed Farm, I had lots of ideas that I wanted to bring to life but didn’t have the tools or resources to achieve them. I also realized that I needed to improve my business skills. At first, I tried learning everything on my own. Having to frantically squeeze in all of the on and off-farm tasks on my own as a single-member LLC was overwhelming, and I needed help.
I learned about the Stateline Farm Beginnings® program from staff at The Land Connection in Champaign, Illinois. I signed up for the course because I knew I needed to take a step back from the nitty-gritty of my farm business and look at the bigger picture of the quality of life that I wanted for myself. I was burning myself out with my two off-farm jobs while starting my small farm business and I hadn’t realized it. I knew I wanted to be able to articulate my farm dream better and felt that having a support system that kept me accountable to do this deep soul searching would be beneficial. I cannot recommend the Stateline Farm Beginnings® course enough to new and aspiring farmers. The course is thoughtfully curated and structured, with lots of opportunities to practice sharing your farm story and your farm dream. The Farmer Training staff are personable and they really root for you to be successful. It is not an exaggeration when I say that I didn’t want to miss a single class because each class was valuable and fun. The aspiring farmers in my cohort were vastly supportive of each other and each one of them has made a positive impact in my farming journey. I know that I will be in touch with all of them even after we have completed the program at the end of this year.
My goal for my second growing season is to provide Korean chili powder to my customers. I have spoken to fellow farmers and have made some progress to find potential certified kitchens to launch this value-added product by the end of the year. Korean chili powder is used in most Korean dishes so I am very motivated to continue to produce delicious and clean Korean chili. Two more goals for this growing season are to launch a short trial summer CSA and to become an authorized SNAP retailer to be able to accept SNAP EBT payments from customers. I started going to the farmer’s markets in Champaign-Urbana because of this program and I believe it is very important to reach customers that are unfamiliar with the seasonal, local food movement. I am very much looking forward to the learning connections coming up in Stateline Farm Beginnings® as well. I am eager to expand my knowledge in effective record keeping, composting, and crop planning on a working farm. But most of all, I look forward to continuing to meet farmers that will inspire me to keep moving forward.