Monthly Archives: November 2018

News From the Farm | November 26, 2018

 

Fall is in full swing here at the farm. The first rain came last week and washed away months of dust and smoke that had settled on the plants. The leaves on the walnut trees seemed to change from bright green to a dark yellow overnight and the farmers began to walk a little slower and breathe a little deeper. It happens every year- and yet it feels just as refreshing this year as the last. The fresh flowers are frosted and the petals now have a beautiful browned edge that seems to signal the end of the season. 

All of the flowers we are now using to create wreaths have been dried over the last year in a building we all have come to call the ‘Wreath Room’. The building is old and small and used to be used as a mechanics shop for farm equipment long before I was born. Now, it is filled to the brim with flower bunches hanging from the ceiling, ready for the moment that they too will be created into beautiful dried wreaths. Larkspur, Globe Amaranth, Ammobium, Strawflower, Marigolds and Yarrow make a quilt of colors and textures when you walk in and look up. I remember learning how to create my first wreath (above) in the Wreath Room when I was no older than four. It was a misshapen lumpy thing made with a mixture of Celosia and Sweet Annie. I was so proud of my creation and continue to love the change of season because it means creating new wreaths and spending a bit of time trying to perfect a craft. 

Last Thursday my family, the farmers and friends in the Capay Valley settled into the Wreath Room to share a meal under the dried flowers. My mom and I spent time decorating long tables with dried flowers and cooking a meal made mostly of food grown at Full Belly Farm. Friends and family brought pies, stuffing, squash, homemade rolls, ceviche and veggies. We gave thanks to the rain, to the beautiful room where we were sharing the meal and to new babies, neighbors and friends within our mix. 

This year we offered two wreath classes for folks to come visit our farm, see the Wreath Room and learn how to create their own wreath made from dried flowers and greenery foraged from our farm. The first class was held on the 12th of November and over 40 people came to create wreaths at our farm. The class is always such a wonderful example of how unique everyone is, as all of the wreaths end up being completely distinctive to the person creating them. Our next class is this Friday. Thirty more students will come and share a meal with us, spend time perfecting a craft and enjoy a spot on the farm that holds history, community, and lots and lots of flowers.

—Hannah Muller 

Editor’s note: Hannah offers floral services for weddings, events and parties.  If you want to learn more about her creative, farm-based art, contact her

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Open Letter to our Community Regarding Full Belly’s Position on Sexual Harassment of Women in the Food Service Industry

This letter attempts to summarize conversations taking place at Full Belly Farm regarding sexual harassment in the workplace and in the food service industry as a whole.  We are reflecting on these themes because we know that women are still not treated equally in our industry and sometimes face oppression and lack of equal opportunity. We are publishing this letter because it has come to our attention that some individuals are questioning the position of Full Belly Farm on this issue.  If anyone is uncertain, we are taking this opportunity to set the record straight regarding the equality of women in the food service industry.

We are aware that the food service industry as a whole has a serious problem treating female staff with respect.  We have personal friendships with many female chefs and restaurant employees, and we have many colleagues who work in restaurants.  During the last year, we watched the reports from all over the country of female food workers who described their experiences at the hands of chefs and restaurant owners, and we were deeply moved that the stories came out and are being aired in the light of day.  We believe these victims. We support them in telling their stories and in demanding that the men who wronged them step down from positions of power. 

This discussion is important. Sexual oppression and harassment take place in agriculture as a whole as well as in the restaurant industry. This discussion is not just about the consequences that any one sexual predator or guilty individual should suffer. The industry as a whole has to change and it is our impression that this discussion is an important step in that direction. Sexual harassment and oppression are not acceptable anywhere.

Our management team is talking about the ways that we might be able to support all the women chefs, food service workers, farmers and others that we love, who have always had a harder time in the food and farming industry than is their due. We are very happy that a number of women leaders have won seats in the recent elections and we will support political change for women in any way that we can.  

Full Belly Farm is a 50% woman-owned business.  We have worked very hard for 30 years to create safe spaces and year-round employment for the women working at our farm.  Through our efforts to produce healthy organic food, we hope to create community and impact people’s health and safety in positive ways.  Our internship program has trained at least 100 women over the last 30 years, sending them on into their careers with strong role models and training them in practical skills that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives.

We welcome this conversation, although we prefer not to engage in further discussion on social media. Please visit the farm for a face-to-face discussion or respond to us through the contact information that is available on our web site.

Sincerely,

Full Belly Farm

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