Rosemary Jedel Graff , known as “Farmer Rosemary,” is the co-founder of Laughing Buck Farm. Armed with the desire for an active, outdoor lifestyle and a love of horses, she and her husband, Greg, purchased a dilapidated foreclosure property 5 miles outside of Fort Collins, CO. The land and buildings had been largely neglected, so with great determination, Rosemary and Greg rolled up their sleeves and went to work. The result is Laughing Buck Farm, a sustainable working farm that embraces people and enhances the Fort Collins area.
Rosemary said of their decision to invest in the country property, ”I wanted to be pushing my kids around in a wheelbarrow, not a stroller.” She continued: “We were buying a life and a lifestyle. We have the rhythm of taking care of the animals several times a day.”
The Graffs not only created a lifestyle for their own children, but they created a feeling of community in a rural area. Within the first year of residing at Laughing Buck Farm, Rosemary started a preschool cooperative with three other families. “One of the challenges of country living is being connected to others,” Rosemary confessed, “I’m really a people person.”
Soon after the preschool co-op, Rosemary embarked upon another adventure and started the Farm School. As a former teacher that loves human interaction, it was a way for her to educationally enrich children while building relationships within the community. Rosemary teaches the Farm School students everything about farm life — from gardening and horseback riding, to collecting eggs and raising hogs for food. Rosemary explained: “It provides me with an opportunity to have a real conversation with kids about where their food comes from. They get a deeper level of understanding about what is really happening.”
Aside from raising her two boys with all the fresh air and sunshine a person could need, farmer Rosemary is also the main caretaker for 30 chickens, 12 horses, 3 goats, 3 pigs, a beehive, and a bountiful garden. The sweat investment into Laughing Buck Farm has fed the Graffs’ love of animals, passion for educating children, and benefited the local community with a sustainable working farm. Hats off to farmer Rosemary for her creativity and dedication.
The joy of Laughing Buck Farm is even sweeter than honey from its beehive.
(Photos by Rosemary Jedel-Graff)
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