A trip afield

A trip afield

We took our annual youth farmer field trip on Friday-- the first time I've been around to join in.  Jen finds a different farm to visit most years, as it's a difficult time for farmers to give up an entire morning for a tour.  A couple years ago the crew went to Open Oak Farm in Sweet Home, where Adaptive Seeds operates its breeding programs.  This year, we drove to Cottage Grove to tour Branch Road Farm with owner Andy, as well as FOOD for Lane County's Grassroots Garden in Eugene.

Read More

All the questions

All the questions

Then there are the questions that I know the answers to, but they're in fuzzy areas that are hard to describe.  How full should these three-inch pots be?  How much yellow can a spinach leaf have on it and still be okay to send to the food bank?  How deep should we plant these onion sets?  The answers to these types of questions are, after two years on this farm and many more in farming, clear and obvious to my hands and sight.  They take a certain feel, a Goldie Locks-style homing in to the perfect medium, and a quick confidence to judge what's within the limits.  It's been a struggle for me to answer questions like this, but I'm getting better. 

Read More

February 1

February 1

This is, in my wildest imaginations, the first of a daily reflection on my experiences at the FOOD for Lane County Youth Farm, set squarely in the midst of a painstakingly gradual and messy rebuilding of a food system that sustains us all.  The process is gradual and messy enough to have me believe that whatever I write will have no impact on the longterm path of our unprecedented global trajectory.  Because what I do every day on the farm seems to somehow chink and chip away at it-- seems to create a shift, subtle though it may be, in my self and those around me and the material world in which we engage-- I can't help but believe that sharing it with a wider audience might strengthen and quicken that shift.  Where the change comes from I hope to articulate throughout this season.  Where it is bringing us, I have no idea. May it be beautiful.

Read More