What Are They Thinking?

“What are they thinking?” was published in the Country Guide in January 2024  and authored by April Stewart.

In an unconventional tale of farming entrepreneurship, Karri and Trefor Munn-Venn, city dwellers with no prior farming experience, embarked on a life-changing journey by purchasing a 25-acre vineyard in Quebec’s Outaouais region. This is a summary of the magnificent article crafted by April Stewart of Country Guide and we encourage you to dive into her original work. 

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City dwellers with no prior farming experience, embarked on a life-changing journey.

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The Quest for a Different Life

Karri and Trefor Munn-Venn, raised in rural villages but living most of their adult lives in major cities, reached a pivotal moment in their lives. They began to question the trajectory they were on and pondered what kind of life they truly desired. Seeking more time outdoors and a connection to a rural lifestyle, they decided to explore opportunities beyond the urban hustle.

Their journey started unexpectedly when Trefor impulsively conducted an online property search one gloomy February day. He stumbled upon a rural listing in Quebec, a region they had never visited. They decided to visit the property, leading to a fateful encounter with a picturesque farm that captured their hearts. This impulsive decision became the catalyst for their new life as farmers.

 

The Power of Alignment

Despite their seemingly spontaneous leap into farming, the Munn-Venn’s emphasize that their decision-making process is grounded in finding alignment. They firmly believe that decisions should emanate from their core values and the life they envision. Their clarity regarding their goals and values guides every choice they make, creating a sense of cohesion throughout their endeavors.

Karri and Trefor stress that alignment is essential for achieving their desired outcomes. Every decision, whether related to the farm, vineyard, or their lives, must resonate with their values. They recognize the importance of not only answering questions but also understanding the essence of the questions posed to them, ensuring that they are aligned with their vision.

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Balancing Tangible and Intangible Factors

The Munn-Venn’s decision-making process incorporates both tangible and intangible elements. They use a circular planning tool to prioritize events and activities that are essential to them as a family and for the farm’s well-being. These “non-negotiable” aspects, such as nurturing relationships and caring for livestock, serve as their core focus. Decisions affecting these areas take precedence over external factors.

The couple’s openness to unconventional solutions and willingness to view conventional practices differently have also contributed to their success. They challenge the traditional focus on crop yield by asking how they can maximize the value of each vine row, rather than aiming for a percentage increase in yield. This mindset has led to innovative ideas, such as offering individuals the opportunity to rent their own vineyard row, resulting in increased profitability and satisfaction.

 

Information Gathering and Learning

Being new to farming, the Munn-Venns recognize the importance of seeking information and learning from experienced sources. They emphasize the value of seeking help and advice, acknowledging that they don’t know everything. They have sought guidance from mentors, neighbors, friends, advisors, and experts in the field to make informed decisions.

The couple’s commitment to ongoing learning is evident in their pursuit of various educational opportunities, such as vineyard management programs and beekeeping courses. They continuously educate themselves to enhance their knowledge and skills, ensuring they make informed choices.

 

Embracing Failure and Adaptation

Karri and Trefor are unafraid of failure, viewing it as an integral part of their learning process. They have accepted that not every decision will yield perfect results and are willing to adjust their strategies when necessary. Their emphasis on clarity and alignment has empowered them to make decisions swiftly and adapt to changing circumstances, rather than becoming paralyzed by the pursuit of perfection.

 

Looking Ahead with Excitement

The Munn-Venn’s journey as small-acreage farmers is a long-term commitment. While they acknowledge that they are in no rush, they are enthusiastic about shaping their farm’s future. Their approach to decision-making, rooted in alignment, sustainability, and innovation, continues to guide their path as they nurture their land, their dreams, and their community. Their journey serves as an inspiring example of how clarity and adaptability can lead to success in the world of agriculture.

 

This is just a summary of the magnificent article that was in Country Guide and we encourage you to read the entire piece that was authored by April Stewart. This just doesn’t do her thoughtful writing justice.

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