No manner of Wi-Fi entertainment can match a stack of seed catalogs and a mason jar of post-it notes. Before I became a farmer I was an English teacher, so maybe it’s the poetic description of the vegetables that grab me. “Cosmic purple” carrots are more winter hardy than the “Napoli”. “Esterina” tomatoes just bested the honored “Sungold” in 2017 taste tests. “Marmande” heirlooms are what the best French chefs use in their tomato sandwiches. I conjure up my favorite combinations – strawberries and arugula - and check my timing on the dates of harvest for each. I am up to my elbows in a salad bowl of day-dreams for the 2018 Hickories Crop Plan.
Searching for good seed is hard-wired into all our brains. We ‘scratch the deep down itch’ when we talk about seeds, connect ourselves to one farm, and follow one harvest season. We were hunter-gatherers from the get go – and we became farmers to express a mutual reliance that made us strong and kept us safe. When we became farmers we entered into a 10,000 year intimacy with seeds and fresh garden vegetables - a bond almost entirely forsaken in the last 100 years. Becoming a CSA member is the best way you can reconnect yourself and your family to that crucial and deeply fulfilling relationship today.
I know you’re out there, and it’s time for you to stand up and be counted. You may not be a farmer but you know that your inner-agrarian is alive: it’s calling all of us. So rise up you backyard syrup boilers – you Joni Mitchell lip sync-ers - you DIY chicken coop cleaners – you Garden Club ladies – you who put a glass over a bee to save it from the vacuum cleaner – you poetry teachers who never thought a lick about becoming a farmer. Commit to good eating, real food, and making a farm happen in 2018. Show of hands… who’s with me?
All the best,