By Kate Quesada
Living in the Brandon area, it is easy to feel removed from the beauty of the land that surrounds us, but Shelley and Brian Fehrenbacher have found a way to bring natural living to Valrico.
Two years ago, the Fehrenbacher family moved from their home of 12 years in FishHawk Ranch to Fallen Oak Farms, a seven-acre property in Valrico.
“We moved because we wanted to give our three daughters the experience of living on land,” said Shelley, who has a Masters degree in elementary education. “Whether it is caring for our animals or harvesting vegetables from our gardens, we knew those were lessons we wanted to give them.”
After settling into the property they spent years searching for, the family is now working to help others experience the benefits of farm life through the sale of artisan projects including garden beds, decorative chalkboards, garden and pantry doors, designer chicken and rabbit coops and play sets.
“Our farm continues to evolve as our community’s desire for country living turns itself into a way of life verses a trend,” said Shelley. “We are seeing people in our community, no matter what size their property, enjoy having raised garden beds or even a designer chicken coop.”
One of the newest ways the family is helping the community get closer to nature is with yoga classes for adults and children. The first Yoga at the Farm class took place in early February and Shelley is planning to start kids’ yoga classes on March 8 with a garden theme.
“I am thrilled to get to combine my teaching experience and love of the outdoors into a creative educational program,” said Shelley.
“All three of our daughters are involved in the agriculture programs and FFA at Mulrennan middle school and Durant High School,” said Shelley. “We’ve built a large, functional rabbit hutch for the middle school and plans for a Garden to School Lunch Table are in the works. Our vision is for other private and public schools in our area to also join in to start a program.”
To sign up for a yoga class, visit www.fallenoakfarms.com, www.yogaatthefarm.com or call Shelley at 541-1111.