PFAS Update!

Friday November 04, 2022

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Dear Community,

** This entry was posted to our newsletter in September, with more timely PFAS updates added to our Instragram posts and monthly newsletters through the season. To stay most up to date with our work and thoughts, we encourage you to find us in those ways. There is a link to join both our newsletter and to our Instagram at the bottom of each website page. **

It’s been a long and full summer. On this Labor day I want to shout out the incredible Dandelion Spring team that shows up every day to do the work. It’s been hot and very dry, the pandemic continues, and they’ve quietly supported the daily work of the farm while we learned about potential ramifications PFAS in our soil. We’ve a lot to celebrate!

Please join us for a HARVEST DINNER!

The summary for those of you who’ve followed our PFAS journey (you can read more here), is that this farm was spread with sludge decades before I purchased it. The DEP marked our property as a Tier 1 concern site in December. We were not legally obligated to do any testing, but felt it was important to know about the presence of PFAS on our property and in our crops. Our water tests taken in the winter came back clean. Unfortunately, our soil samples taken in the spring came back with higher levels than expected. Our farm became the example of the awkward cusp – levels not high enough to warrant preemptively shutting down, but also high enough to be of concern. In effort to learn more about how plants are taking up PFAS the Maine DEP and CDC did extensive testing in our crops fields. We are thrilled to report that our plants simply are not taking up the PFAS. There still is not a legal limit for PFAS in crops, but all parties could agree that our numbers are below any threshold that is being discussed. We’ve scientific reassurance that supports that we are indeed selling you healthy food!
Meanwhile, we’ve continued forward with our dreams.
Help us christen our new building with a Harvest Dinner!

Regular readers of Dandelion Spring news may remember that I came home from an empowered week at Stonebarns in New York in January of 2020, with a vision of expansion for Dandelion Spring. I was part of a small group of farmer-entrepreneurs who were supported in an entrepreneurship intensive with William Rosenzweig, Co-Chair of the Sustainable Food Initiative at Berkeley Haas School of Business, and other experts.  I let myself dive into a  long held vision a structure that would be community event space, commercial kitchen, and fully conditioned four season wash-pack space for our crew. This vision is now close to being a finished reality! Please join us for our first community meal in the space in October!

 (The image above is of my starting to draw out the interplay of my visions.  I love this photo because I can look at it and remember the energy  of that day very clearly.  First, the farmer to my left was an old friend I’d met during my first summer production farming in 1998 in Rhode Island.  It felt incredibly special that we were reunited as part of this cohort of just 14 of us from the U.S. Apparently, that summer was very meaningful to both of us and our careers.  Secondly, not long after this photo was taken I recall feeling very ill… not a common feeling for me, but one I did swing into remembering sometimes comes when my body is doing big processing and not actually is sick.  It was my sign that these visions were ones to embrace.  I arrived at Stone barns with the idea that this building was a smoke show for what I should actually be doing, but was not yet defined.  Instead, I left the workshop ready to embrace my vision.  Here we go!) Healthy soil, healthy community, dining together again.

We look forward to seeing you soon!
Beth and crew

Friday November 04, 2022

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