My best thinking happens when my body is engaged in meaningful movement while outside. Not too many minutes ago I was moving firewood and checking on the state of our greenhouses after a big snow thaw that happened last night. At first I was entertained by thoughts of what it was I was going to make for dinner. My thoughts then drifted over to the podcast I listened to on the way home from our delivery run today; an interview with Isabel Wilkerson caused me to ask, what does it mean to be a neighbor? A deeper chain of thought started to mesh together questions of food, culture, and spirit... and my ultimate question of, how can I learn how to ask better questions?
How can I put myself as deeply in this community as a neighbor, as a farmer, as a human, as possible?
How can we further the value of empathy through the production and sharing of food?
This chain of random thought process, happening while moving, is a pretty clear window of who I am as the person who'll perhaps infuse this energy into your food, or as your potential employer.
Ultimately, raising Certified Organic produce has been both a vice and a tool to allow me to be in the world in the ways that I want. For those interested in a shorter conversation, I often use two different analogies to describe who I am as a farmer.
1. Raising food can be the perfect metaphor to have conversations related to my humanitarian and environmental ideals. - And - My Piscean mind and liberal arts background is well fed by the diversity that organic farming requires.
2. My younger self was best known as a competitive long distance athlete. The endurance, mentally and physically, of small scale organic farming brings on it's own set of endorphins that apparently I'm addicted to.
The more traditional biography down and dirty:
• I'm a Maine native that left for college (not agriculture related) and then quickly returned to this beautiful state. I've been farming nearly full time since literally the day after I graduated.
• Dandelion Spring Farm planted it's first seeds as my sole-proprietorship business in 2002. She's been growing ever since.
• Dandelion Spring has always existed in the Midcoast of Maine, primarily on leased land.
• We've bounced through a few different CSA styles, and had a pretty consistent focus on 50% retail and 50% wholesale markets for many years.
• I continue to be the sole-proprietor of Dandelion Spring, but the management is shared between myself and the fantastic crew who works here. The food we sell is a testament to many hard working hands and minds.
• We are setting diverse, deep, and organic roots in Bowdoinham, Maine. We are proud to have an agricultural easement on our property held by Maine Farmland Trust (farmland forever!).
When I'm not farming you can probably find me cross country skiing, trying to exhaust a young border collie, or staring at a project in my old house, that ultimately will become a repair with a learning curve. The end result of all of those options will be my making a big dinner, perhaps pie, and feeling excited to grow more food for all of us.
I truly look forward to seeing all of you at market soon.