Time for reflection is dear to me. The ability to tend to a period of time after it’s passed is joyous and beautiful. I’ve spent the past few falls and winters away from the land I work with persistently for 8 months out of the year. This year I’m staying put. I’m reflecting deeply on the ways I’m shaped by this place and the ways I see myself shaping this place through my work. I want to work with nature, to nurture the place I love so dearly. I want to be a part of my family in a new way, in a strong way. And I want to look to the future with even more wonder and excitement. This will be the winter I dig in.
Growing seasons for farmers are all so unique and sacred because they come with much anticipation, anxiety, curiosity, and relief. 2020 was my third CSA (community supported agriculture) season and probably my favorite season yet! I spent the entire year looking forward, awaiting what was coming next and anticipating with gladness what was happening presently. My customers shared their feelings throughout the season, and I shared my experience -- despite the busy-ness -- as the grower of the food they were consuming. Balancing the many aspects of the farm was challenging, but it was always validating to hear from and share with the people who I served, as it was an experience we shared.
The food pantry and our local food rescue and relief fund was a big part of my season. Meeting the facilitators of the Empire Food Pantry was a highlight of my summer, and added a lot of joy to my work. Knowing that local produce was heading home with people who were otherwise short on fresh, nutritious food in my very own community… felt really good.
Learning and connecting with organizers within the realm of local community food pantries and their needed partnership with local growers and producers was powerful! Spending a season working with people who share deep concern and dedication to the local food movement was exciting and humbling, as we are all in this together.
Additionally, my beautiful family support, which is multidimensional and growing, was such a huge aspect of the season. Having my three sisters nearby, my parents on board, the adorable addition of another baby (I’m an aunt to Shirley and Arthur), and the land as our connector felt extremely symbolic for the future of our farming endeavors. The Lively Farm is expanding its flower sphere and bringing new visions to flower… We are expanding our growing to new property and building soil in a new place-- The Burdickville Backyard (formerly the Eagle’s Camping and Events)! We are growing our sales through the Local Food Buying Club, and making plans for a commercial kitchen! We want to expand our events to be informative and interactive -- think music AND workshops, storytelling, yoga, and frisbee!
We’re hopeful to add some farm hands to our team, to support the garden work and community outreach. We’ve been working on creating a small space for people to stay and a beautiful scene on the farm for gathering. While we’ll always be small, we also want to be resilient and sustainable in our planned growth. What will happen when we eventually grow year round? Who will be with us when we’re serving 100 customers rather than 30? We’re excited to expand our operation and to engage with other powerful people to make it possible.
Thanks to the powerful people who’ve inspired and supported this journey. We look forward to the future and are thankful it includes you.