This is the first of a series of essays describing and explaining why we do the things we do at Mud Lake Farm and with St. Steve’s cordials and sodas. Let’s be honest, we’re weird or at least a bit odd and that accounts for some of it. There are a lot easier ways to make things that are more profitable than the way we do them.
Just the fact that we grow and make our products from whole ingredients is pretty unique. Most, if not all commercial sodas are made from flavors. Pour a little of this and a little of that and wa-la! A soda. So why take the time, energy and money to juice and slice real carrots, beets and ginger when we could just pour a bottle of something all ready to go? Why grow our own elderflowers when we could use a pre-made concentrate and nobody would know the difference?
At the core of this whole thing - the farm, the sodas, everything - is the concept of Creation Stewardship. To some this may sound like religiosity or mystical mumbo-jumbo but it is really pretty simple. Our land has been in my family for 116 years. It was here long before us and will be here long after we’re gone from this earth. But we were placed here and now as caretakers and our job is to care for creation to the best of our abilities. Caring not just for this farm, but for this country and our world as well. This job is not just caring about the environment, although that is important, but caring for people as well because they too are part of creation.
To love our neighbor as ourselves is not just a verse in the Bible, but one of the great commands. It is a primary lens through which we are to view the rest of the Bible and all of life. We take this command seriously, and over the next few essays we’ll dive deeper into how we try to live out this command in every aspect of our company, from how we grow to how and what we sell.