Today, October 14, is an exciting day for me and my mission: a 6-page feature article about Bloomah’s City Farm came out in Mispacha’s Jr Magazine!
I am excited and nervous – especially about the cover, because I never expected that they would feature a photo of my son there.
My No Photo Policy
I don’t post photos of my children on this blog or social media – or anywhere. I don’t even post photos of myself.
Though everyone who knows anything about marketing will tell you that this hampers my impact, I have no intention of changing this policy. It just feels right for me. (No judgements on anyone else’s choices.)
So when Mishpacha sent me the cover for review 2 weeks ago, I got a huge shock to see a giant portrait of my 5-year-old son there, holding one of our chicks.
My first thought: there is no way I will agree to having this photo on a magazine cover. It’s too much!
Mishpacha was on a tight deadline, so I needed to give my answer immediately. I decided to call up a Rabbi who we often consult with. Since he is Chassidish, I was certain he would agree with me and I would have the perfect excuse to say “No” to Mishpacha.
What the Rabbi Actually Said
“I am usually against publishing any children’s photos but in this case I would put my own children on the cover of that magazine!”
“There is such a need for people to read this article! If having your son’s photo there will entice more people to read it, then I think you should do it.”
Why is the article that important?
“So many frum Jews crave a closer connection to nature. What I see is that if they’re from a more open background, then they feel they have to stray from their communities in order to get it. If they’re from a more insular background, they tell themselves ‘this is not for someone like me. There’s no way I can do this.’ That’s also unhealthy.”
“This article shows that a person can integrate farming, nature, animals and ecological values into a mainstream Torah lifestyle.”
But what about… you know?
“If your intention is purely to help people and open them up to a healthier view, Hashem will protect you from Ayin Hara.”
After I hung up with our Rav, I emailed Mishpacha immediately.
Let’s do this!
Why this Article Excites Me
I love how the writer interviewed each of my kids and got great quotes about their experience of being a “farm kid.”
They also gave me scope to share some ideas that are really different than anything the typical Mishpacha reader has heard before. For example:
“Most people wouldn’t consider our garden ideal,” Naomi says. “People want a manicured lawn with pretty flowers. To me, that’s a dead garden. A garden should be full of life! You want to see bugs flying. Then birds, reptiles, and hedgehogs move in. That’s a successful garden. You’re part of the cycle, cooperating with the forces of nature. That’s how it’s supposed to be.”
Haha. Did I really just say that in front of tens of thousands of middle-class New York Jews?
Thank you to Mishpacha for giving me a platform to spread these ideas.
My name is Naomi and this is my tiny little farm in the heart of the rapidly growing city of Beit Shemesh, Israel. I enjoy growing, making and processing as much of my family's food and household essentials as possible, while nurturing a biodiverse ecosystem filled with beauty and life.
I loved reading about the behind-the-scenes thought that went into this, and I hope the article inspires lots of people!
Thank you Malka, for initiating this article, writing it and taking care of us every step of the way!