Family Stories

Janae’s Story

Making dreams come true takes a lot of nurturing from family and friends. If you are lucky your family and friends are all rolled-into-one. My sister, Janae, has always been supportive of my ambitions. She is my best sister-friend, listening, encouraging and helping shape the goals for Quillisascut Farm School. Here is Janae’s story on the emerging dream that is Quillisascut Farm.

I think there’s a vortex of positive energy there. Isn’t that supposed to be a special place on earth where all the points of positive energy converge? I think it’s something like that. I have always thought there was a special power at Quillisascut Farm since the first time I went there, when Rick and Lora Lea lived in the little house that later became a chicken house. There’s a special feeling there. If you’ve been there, you know what I mean. It must be a vortex, like in Arizona. Especially when there is a late afternoon golden sun.

Many years ago, on one of my visits, she talked about ‘sustainability’. I had never heard the term. “What does sustainability mean, Lora Lea?” Certainly that was my own ignorance, but I wasn’t alone. It was a new term and very few people had even heard the term yet. She was already living it.

She was passionate about wanting people to know where their food came from. She thought about writing a column for the local paper, but that didn’t do it. She brainstormed several ideas until she came up with the “school”. If they could teach future chefs about the sources of food, those students would pass on the word wherever they went and whenever they talked about food with others.

Great idea, but it’s going to take money to start. So she taught herself how to write grants. She put in the work and effort, and came up with award-winning requests! Enough money to get started. People came to those first sessions, staying in “bedrooms” tucked in around the farm in sheds, cabins, trailers, even the barn. Classes were taught in the house and in the barn. The school grew, and the need for a building was obvious. They used their life savings to purchase building materials and they worked on the actual construction of the school.

Through all this they were busy growing large gardens, orchards and vineyards. They raised livestock and milked goats, made cheese and sold it to upscale restaurants in the Seattle area. And they raised their daughter, Willow.

Rick and Lora Lea are living where they want to live, doing what they want to do. How many people have a special dream of what they want to do to make the world a better place, and actually live their dreams?

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