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.

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To offer

With all the daily to-do lists and weekly goals and pushes to finish big projects in farming, I often forget to look back at-- and especially to really appreciate-- my successes.  This morning, I would never have guessed that I would be looking back on the day with pride and joy.  I was in a sour mood.  Lately I've been focusing on some of the things I don't have, and it had caught up to me by this morning.  I could have crawled back into bed and given the leading to others, hid in the weedy onion patch by myself and sulked in my ungrateful thoughts all day.  Even on the brightest morning meeting up with the most positive people, sometimes I'm just caught like that, blind by choice to the good.

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In the dirt

In the dirt

They planted Cal White potatoes, which are usually huge but came very small (and easy for little hands to tuck under ground) this year.  One girl caught on quickly and led the charge down the bed, plugging in spud after spud with enthusiasm.  Between kids unearthing bits of plastic and worms as they dug, she found a single clear marble.  She carried it with her as we left the field to wash hands and switch stations, showing her friends with a smile.  I wonder what she'll do with it.  And I wonder, if she keeps it like a treasure, what it will remind her about this warm cloudy morning when she visited a real farm and planted a whole bed of sprouted potatoes with her classmates, once she's my age and finds herself digging in the dirt.

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