Hold onto your boots, it's going to be a long email. As you can tell, I really took advantage of not having to work or think about the farm by not working or thinking about the farm :) These past two weeks were spent spending time with friends - new and old, sleeping, and honestly just catching my breath after this season. A little life recap: old friends from my college frisbee team came to visit for Thanksgiving, and that was just such a sweet time and a great way to celebrate the end of the season. We had a mini Friendsgiving, checked out some Saturday farmers' markets, got lost on a hike, watched too much Designated Survivor, beat an escape room (I'M OBSESSED.), and just ate our way through Portland.
One of the things I was looking forward to the most with the end of farmer's markets was getting my weekends back! That is, having weekends that align with most other people's weekends. For the last five or so months, except for a couple weekends I was out of town, I have been occupied with the farm - a full 10-12 hour day of harvest and wash/pack on Saturday and 10-hour market day on Sunday, which usually started around 5am. This past weekend, I headed to the coast with my roommates and other Portland frisbee folk to celebrate a couple of birthdays! We were greeted on Saturday with beautiful weather on the beach, which was perfect for throwing around the disc and having a Spikeball tournament. Despite retiring after two knee surgeries in college, the ultimate frisbee community, no matter what city you're in, always has a special place in my heart for how enthusiastic they are about the sport and good they are about welcoming people into their community and circles.
As much as I love catching up with friends and building relationships, what I knew I needed most from the end of the season was just time to myself. To be alone and quiet and regain my sense of identity outside of work. Anyone who is ever really in it in their work, knows how easy it is to rely on it for your sense of value and worth. Just like taking a day off from the farm every Monday was good for me to step outside of work and remind myself that life and meaning exist outside of it, I'm really looking forward to spending the next month or two, outside of work, reflecting all the aspects of life - personal, social, spiritual...work-life balance, leisure, etc. Just a time to reset a bit and evaluate the things that I value and reorder them, if necessary.
And it doesn't hurt that this little guy is happier that I'm home more...
He’s currently sitting in my lap as I write this :) He also brought in a mouse to my roommate’s room this past weekend and left him an organ of some sort, but we won’t talk about that.
Season Recap and Update
From conservative estimates, this season, we:
- harvested over 5700 lbs of food from the farm,
- donated approximately 230 lbs to foster families in Portland,
- donated another 200 lbs through other outlets in the city,
- raised $98 for the church I am a part of, as we look for a building to call home.
Apart from all numbers, I was also stoked to see food connect various groups of people through the potlucks this season and the weekly vegetable pick-up hangs! More of that next season PLZ! Even more, I'm excited to spend some time this winter, dreaming about the potential for next season, in allowing food to slow out lives down a bit and serve our community. One of the coolest things this season was seeing everyone so excited about food. Like real food, grown organically, less than 20 miles away, with a little dirt most likely still on it :) Like seriously, did you ever think you'd get so excited about a beet or daikon radish?
Thank you EVERYONE for all the ways you've helped the farm succeed this past year! Whether it was through buying produce, coming out to help at the farm, or speaking encouraging words, this seasonwould not have been the same without all of your support. Special shoutouts go to:
Andrew and Ainsley, and the rest of the Sundberg gang, for opening up their backyard as a pick-up spot for the first half of the season.
Kyle, Eric, Jodhi, and Mike for opening up with front porch for the second half of the season.
Jamie and Michael for being the most faithful customers a little farmer could ask for.
Tal, Gates, Kelsey, Jam, and Michael for all coming to help out at the farm/work the farmer's market for me when I was out of town.
All you non-Portland high school and college folk who reached out and wanted to
stay updated with the farm newsletters! You rock!
Where the farm is at now: things are definitely wrapping up, but there is still food left out at the farm. Kale, collards, spinach, carrots, and radicchio still out in the field, daikon radish and tons of winter squash in storage. I'd love for none of it to go to waste, so if you'd like any of those veggies, shoot me a text or email this week this week and I'll run and do a small harvest on Saturday and deliver/set up a pick up that afternoon.
Hoophouse update! Transplanted spinach on the right is looking good and loving the cooler weather, about 80% germ on tatsoi and mustard bed in the middle and not too great germination in the arugula and kale on the far left. I'll still just be keeping an eye on this house for the time being and let you know when/if the harvest comes!
Lots of text for you to read in this email, but that's all! And that's a wrap for the season! See you all next year!