My name is Kimberly Cray. I am a 40 year old woman who is married and has 2 dogs. My dogs are 10yrs old and 7yrs old. My husband is 43 years old. We’ve been together 10 years.
Since I was a child I have dreamed of operating a homestead farm. I grew up on fish and venison. My mother kept a big garden and I spent most of my time outside running wild around the woods and lakes of Lebanon CT.
When I was 8 I got a job on a horse farm because I wanted to learn to ride horses. This job of course involved all the chores commonly done on a horse farm. When I was 12 I walked across the street to the middle school to work on the small dairy farm there. I began learning all the chores associated with dairy cattle. I spent my weekday evenings working on the dairy farm and my weekends working on a horse farm. This lifestyle progressed and evolved until I was 20 years old.
I loved it.
I lived in Hartford in my 20’s, working as a dog trainer and running a large dog daycare. It was ok, but I really missed farming.
The recession in 2010 caused me to move back home to Lebanon. I began looking for work on farms again. Over the last 10 years I have worked in many aspects of farming. Most of these farms were in eastern Connecticut, with a couple most recently being in southern Nevada. Over the last 10 years I have completed a 6 month apprenticeship on a small organic market garden farm learning how to bring product from seed to market, I then spent the season after that selling vegetables at market for a larger conventionally grown market garden/orchard. Following that season I spent 2 years working on a dairy farm, and then a year and a half working part time with beef producers and part time for a horse farm. In the fall of 2018 I moved to southern Nevada and began working on a enormous factory dairy farm, first in the barn milking and then in the field learning about irrigation. After this I transitioned to a hemp growing operation for a few months. Growing hemp in the desert was interesting, but working for a local ranch who raised laying hens offered better job security making it my preferred choice of employment at the time. I spent the last year and a half that I lived in the desert working for a certified organic ranch learning even more about irrigation, growing crops and an orchard in the desert, and raising 2000 free range laying hens for egg production.
The desert is exotically beautiful, but it’s a very trying environment. I learned a lot of very interesting skills there but when I was offered the chance to relocate I took it.
I’m currently living in North Carolina and working at a chicken processing plant.
Very recently my husband was offered a really good job in Willimantic Ct. The old saying “there’s no place like home” certainly feels true for me. I’m currently in search of ruby slippers.
My immediate goal is to secure living arrangements in eastern CT, as close to Willimantic Ct as I can get. If this is on a farm, or I even have the opportunity to put a small garden in, then all the better!!! I am looking for living arrangements for my husband, our 2 dogs and myself. Shared housing, dirt roads, leaky roofs, barn chores, wood to be done or hay is not a problem. My husband is a heck of a wrench. I haven’t payed a mechanic in 10 years! I have solid experience and local references who can tell you about my skills and work ethic with livestock and vegetable production.
Our long term goal is to settle into a piece of land in Windham or New London County which can be certified as organic and support a small diversified farm producing vegetables, some eggs and possibly meat or milk as well. I feel like I have enough varied experience to customize my operation based on what the land I work with can support. My goal is to run a healthy, holistic, nearly closed circle certified organic homestead farm that supports and feeds the ecosystem which supports it.
I believe farmers are caretakers of the land they farm, and I take that responsibility very seriously.
Thank you for reading my brief essay. I look forward to getting in touch with anyone who is interested in speaking to me further!