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Thank You-

Honeyberry haskap

Hello Friends!

This has been a crazy and scary week for me. Being vulnerable and telling my story has been one of the hardest things I've ever done. I never would have been brave enough on my own, but my wonderful fellow farmer and friend, Max Smith from Winter Kissed Farm, wouldn’t let me give up.

Being part of the farming community in Montana has been such a huge blessing. I hope all of you realize how much your farmers care for you and our beautiful state. I have never met more giving and hard working folks. I am amazed at how much outreach and support they are willing to give, and we are in this together. Other farms were hit hard last year with the hail storms and other difficult circumstances. The thing that keeps us all going is knowing that our customers care and value the local food we provide.

I have received so many notes of encouragement. People have thanked me for being brave. I’m not sure if it is bravery because I am shaking in my shoes. Perhaps it is determination to not give up and leaning on the strength of those closest to me. Learning to trust is difficult after so many years of being put down and demoralized. What I have felt from all of you is your love and support. It has overwhelmed me and brought me to tears so many times. I was so afraid to let anyone know what had happened. I was afraid you would all think of me as a failure and incapable because of where I come from. I don’t quite know how to react, honestly. To know that I am part of a community, that people SEE. There is so much loneliness in abuse, and it is hard to believe you have any worth.

The messages that have moved me the most are the many emails, Instagram notes, and phone calls I have received from other women who are survivors of abuse. Your courage touches me. It helps to know you understand, and I am terribly sorry for the difficulties you have endured. Right now my sister is dying from a brain tumor. She has endured terrible abuse for so many years, and her only way of getting free is to give up the fight. She wasn’t strong enough to stand up for herself, so I will stand up for her. And I will lean on the strength and encouragement I have received from all of you.

The only thing I can say is Thank you! For caring. For sending your love and support. I love being able to share something so important to me with all of you, and I pray you come visit this summer when the farm is open. The greatest thing is knowing how much good there is in this world, and I needed to experience that. So, Thank you!

God Bless you all!

With Love,

Melissa Allred/Farmgirl

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