Hobbies, as defined by the Oxford Dictionary, are activities done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure.
For Carrie Stone-Arroyo, her husband Cesar, and their daughter Melanie, being hobby farmers is much more than that. It is about connecting with others and investing in the future.
“I’ve always loved animals. I wanted a pony as kid. So there was a connection there and it just made sense that it would come full circle,” Stone-Arroyo explained.
Everything seemed to come together for the Arroyo family. The desire to move out of an urban area and relocate to a rural one was just the first step.
“We originally lived in Sunnyside but we wanted more of the country life. We moved just outside of Grandview and it has been wonderful,” she said enthusiastically.
The home that the Arroyo family purchased came with a chicken coop set up towards the back of property. This sparked an interest that wasn’t there before.
The Arroyo family became good friends with the previous owners of the property. They would go on to educate them on the finer details about raising chickens and the farm life.
“We became great friends. We even went with them to a huge rodeo in Wyoming. They had been set up to have 80 hens. They would have high schoolers sell the eggs for them as well. They showed us the different tricks of the trade. We are now in our 3rd year with hens,” she stated.
The Arroyo family doesn’t just have chickens either. They have had goats, llamas, and steer. This adventure is not just for the parents though. It is a whole family effort investing in the future.
“We started this for Melanie. She is the CEO of the company which we named Melanie’s Coop. Her grandparents come over and help as well. They enjoy coming over and spending time with their granddaughter and helping out. All the sales from the eggs go into her college fund,” she explained.
For the Arroyo family hobby farming goes beyond the work and the animals. It is a community building activity that connects family, friends, and some times complete strangers.
“We have been able to network to learn about farming. We also have become great friends with our neighbors and people that we may have never met otherwise. It has been an amazing experience. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”