Now that Spring is in the air, sign-ups for our FarmShare are rolling in. This always brings me to reflect on why we are here, doing what we’re doing on the farm.
I don’t want to grow food in a vacuum. I want to know the people who are eating it, hear from them about how they are eating it, and share in the pleasures and sorrows of raising it.
I also don’t want to sell food. I want to build a community around food. I want to share my skill and passion for growing food with people who want to eat that food, to become a part of my web by consuming the fruits of the land I work.
I want to spend my time on building a web. I want to break bread (or carrots, or cucumbers) with my neighbors, and have them share with their neighbors and friends. I want to walk up the hills and alongside the creeks with these same people, creating more strands of the web and strengthening the ones that are there. I want my community to feel drawn to the farm, as if we have our own gravity, pulled to share and to grow with hands in the soil, with faces in the sunshine, with feet splashing in puddles.
I want my community to feel that this is their farm, to feel that they are integral, essential. To feel that when they give me their hard-earned dollars for their FarmShare, or for chicken, or eggs, or anything else I have helped to produce here on this land, that I have earned that dollar from them. I also don’t want them to feel that their money is their most important contribution to the farm, because it isn’t. Their presence, their friendship, the time they spend standing in the farmstand talking with me, or chasing our kids around the picking garden – that is why I’m here. That’s why I farm.