Out of farm’s way

What a year it’s been.

Back in January, we built a greenhouse and, for the first time, were able to grow all six hundred of our plants from seed. At the same time, Brad designed and built a custom walk-in cooler under our carport, making it possible to store much more food than last year, including delicate spring crops like cabbage that require a lot of space.

We were soon grateful for that space when Georgia Organics and Food Oasis Columbus awarded us a $1500 mini-grant, allowing us to donate almost 300 pounds of greens to the people who needed it most at the height of the pandemic.

Then for three months, orange beets, purple kale, white radishes, red tomatoes, green beans and yellow peppers made rainbows on our fields and on our market table. But without much warning and without fanfare, the plants have given in to July heat and humidity. We put them to rest this morning under tarps that will encourage quick decomposition and the return of nutrients to the soil.

Brad and I were hoping for at least one more market week, so we could say a proper farewell for the year to our customers because you have, once again, made growing food a joy. We can’t thank you enough for all the times you shared stories about family meals prepared with our vegetables, brought us hot peppers from your garden, gave us “Don’t panic, it’s organic!” bumper stickers, and encouraged us with your own determination to improve the community.

Shout-out to the customer we fondly refer to as Tomato Man: We promise we’ll be back next summer with even more slicers for y’all’s breakfast. Better take out that mortgage.

A special thank you to The Food Mill for buying our produce all season long to put in their tasty restaurant grub and their free medically-tailored meals for at-risk folks in the neighborhood.

We may not be at market this fall, but we’ll be working hard on infrastructure at the farm, including the planting of a small orchard, with hard-to-find treats like apricots and heat-tolerant cherries. And we don’t want to jinx it by saying too much, but signs looks good that we’ll be able to acquire more land, expanding the farm to twice its size. More on that when it’s official.

Looking at the tarp-covered fields this morning, I couldn’t help but think of this passage from my favorite poem, “The Farm” by Wendell Berry:

And so you make the farm,
And so you disappear
Into your days, your days
Into the ground. Before
You start each day, the place
Is as it is, and at
The day’s end, it is as
It is, a little changed
By work, but still itself,
Having included you
And everything you’ve done.
And it is who you are,
And you are what it is.
You will work many days
No one will ever see;
Their record is the place.
This way you come to know
That something moves in time
That time does not contain.

Thank you again for being part of our farm. By embracing locally grown food, you’ve chosen to join us in the seasonal ebb and flow that moves in time, but that time does not contain. And for that, we will always be grateful.

Farmstand Fridays will continue this summer at MercyMed through August 13 (3702 2nd Avenue, 9 am until noon). Fall market will resume September 17 through December 17. Be sure to visit our friends from MercyMed Farm, Pecan Point Farm and the Old School Kitchen, who will still be there with all sorts of goodies – fruit, vegetables, flowers, herbs, baked goods, yogurt, pecans and eggs. 

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