I have a file card tucked into the pocket in our market van that reads “Talk about what you believe in.” It originated as a reminder last year, during an event we organized to support the 350.org cause. It came to mind today after I had an unexpected conversation with the driver of a semi truck that was delivering a new piece of farm equipment. After we had the tool safely on the ground, he paused and looked at the contraption, a tool for weeding with lots of little tines, and asked me how many acres I had under cultivation. He wanted to know where I marketed my product and I told him about farmers’ markets, restaurant sales, and the Community Supported Agriculture model. He nodded, wanted more details, and then told me that he had heard about CSA type programs and was curious to try, but was afraid of getting too much broccoli or another vegetable he wasn’t as fond of. Ten minutes later, and after my throwing out the “Know your farmer” motif, I think I may have had him convinced to try. Back into his truck, he had a few more stops in Maine before heading home toward Pennsylvania. I hope during those open miles he will continue to think about CSA models and becoming more connected to a farm in his community. (Incidently, more info. about our CSA program can be found under the CSA tab).
Talking about what I believe in blog form is hard these days. Observations and learnings race through my head, but I’ve been putting in long days and sitting at the computer for pleasure writing has not been part of it. Early mornings are spent organizing the days list, making harvest plans and seeding notes. (There is a little mindless time of reading the paper online and drinking coffee, too.) I’m outside by 6:00am, and with the crew by 6:30am. We work together for about 12 hours.. planting, harvesting, marketing… hoping for more time to weed and more customers to buy our greens. I then deal with odds and ends for an hour before dinner; tilling up beds to plant the next day, putting tools away, caring for our pigs, sheep, and chickens. Group dinner has been delightful and efficient. We’ve spent all day together so our conversation often is not overly involved. By 8:15 I’m usually back in the field for another 45 minutes of daylight.
I feel like I’m pushing both ends.. and some days I really feel it in my body. But, I believe in the work we are doing and I’m motivated by wanting to create a good experience for the crew, wanting to provide food for our community, and by conversations like the one I had with the truck driver this afternoon. We all need to eat. We all deserve to eat well. I’m going to do my best to keep working to make that happen… and remember to talk about it.