All posts by Hallie

News From the Farm | September 13, 2021

Andrew recently declared September to be the April of the fall. He meant that like April, this month is a crucial time to prepare for the next season. In April, we’re always busy getting ready for the summer. Right now, seeds must be sown, transplants put in the ground, and new plants watered and weeded in order for us to have crops in the fall and winter. All of these are key tasks over the next few weeks while we also continue to harvest our late summer produce. But this week had had accents of April even in the hot (106 on Tuesday and Wednesday) and dusty weariness of September. Why?

First, there’s all the transplants and seeds going in the ground, just like in April. Equally as exciting is seeing all the subsequent growth. The potatoes have grown a lot, just in one week, all the transplants have also grown an impressive amount, and many of the seeds have germinated and the first leaves are visible. 

     

Pictures of the potatoes last week (L) and this week (R)

One of the most notable transplanting activities this week was the strawberries. Unlike the other transplants that we buy, our strawberries don’t come to the farm in trays with the roots in soil. Instead, they come packed tightly in boxes, without soil. These are bare root strawberries and planting them is very similar to buying a bare root tree; they don’t look like much, mostly roots, the stem (called the crown) and some desiccated, unhappy looking leaves. Hopefully, once in the ground and with some water they’ll grow leaves and eventually flowers and then fruit. Strawberries are notoriously finicky and are easily diseased, so each year that we grow strawberries, even though it is possible to save runners for the next season, we purchase a new set to make sure that they’re healthy. We also purchase new plants because, while strawberries can produce for multiple years, after the first year, the size and quantity of the berries declines. This year we’re growing two varieties, some in plastic mulch, some without. Last year was not a good strawberry year, which is  why they only made it into CSA boxes for two days, so we’re hoping this year is better.

Then, after the first day of planting strawberries wrapped up on Thursday, it started to sprinkle. After a cloudier than usual day, the rain began early in the evening and continued on and off into the early hours of Friday. It wasn’t much, not nearly enough to offset the dire water situation we’re facing, but it was refreshing and much appreciated, and managed to get some of the dust off the plants and equipment. Friday morning felt crisp and clean, albeit a little humid, and almost like it could’ve been a spring morning in late April, with clouds in the sky and all the rows of new transplants and sprouting seeds. And it only got up to 90 degrees! Most importantly, the warnings about dry lightning igniting fires (as happened last year) didn’t come true, at least in our area. We heard some thunder but there were no fires. Is rain on newly planted strawberries an omen of a good year ahead? Only time will tell!

One last element of spring in September: last week saw the arrival of several baby animals to the farm. There are seven newly born piglets, and our most recent group of chicks arrived in the mail and is currently getting situated in the brooder. 

This definitely isn’t April, but the signs of new life (plant and animal), precipitation, and fast-paced preparation for the season ahead certainly illustrated for me why this month is our April of the fall.

– Elaine Swiedler, CSA Manager

 

The post News From the Farm | September 13, 2021 appeared first on Full Belly Farm.

News From the Farm | August 2, 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As always, too many options for News from the Farm for this week. Here’re just a few things to note from the past week:

1) a cooler start to the week:

We started off the week with overcast, cooler days. It barely hit 90! A noticeable difference from the usual summer weather. But then we quickly returned to the usual three-digit temperatures.

2) onion harvest:

Remember those onions that were being hand transplanted back in early April? About four months later, they’re ready to be harvested. This means going through the field and clipping the tops, leaving them for a day or two, then pulling them from the ground. In some years, we need to use a tractor to loosen the soil (they haven’t been watered in about three weeks), but not this year. We put the onions in burlap bags, which stay out in the field for 5-7 days, depending on how hot it is. It has definitely been hot, so we’ll be on the shorter end of the spectrum this year. Then the onions are ready for storage. We treat our summer onions differently than the ones that grew over the winter that you received earlier in the spring. We store these in large vented macro-bins (about 4 feet by 4 feet and 2 and a half feet tall) and while we’ve kept them in a barn with a fan in previous years, this year we’ve got space in our new cooler for them!

   

3) the animals:

This week, our newest batch of chicks ventured out into the real world for the first time. After the initial period in the brooder (basically the chicken equivalent of a greenhouse), they spent a few days in the coop, getting used to it. Then they were finally let outside, surrounded by electric fencing. Despite being cooped up (pun intended) for a while, they were surprisingly slow to leave for the freedom of outside. They also needed some help getting back in the coop at night for the first few days. But they seem to have figured it out pretty quickly.

 

One group of sheep is currently eating down some summer cover crop while the other is working on some old corn.  And the goats are on weed control in the equipment line.

 

4) spicy peppers: 

This past week, Andrew and I both had spicy peppers from varieties that aren’t supposed to have any spice. He had a piquant gold Corno di Toro and I had a fiery Jimmy Nardello. So – you probably don’t need to be too worried, but it just goes to show that you can have some genetic diversity even within a species!

5) a sobering end to the week:

The main topic at our Friday morning all-staff meeting was the return to wearing masks in the shop, office, other indoor spaces, and in vehicles, per county and national public health guidance. We take this virus very seriously and are committed to protecting the farm and our customers’ health. Please remember to maintain social distancing and follow other COVID-19 protocol when picking up your CSA box.

And then right at the end of the day, there was a small grass fire across the street from the farm, which was quickly extinguished. Farm owners, neighbors and the volunteer Capay Valley Fire Department were on the scene in minutes. Not the first fire we’ve had this (dry and hot) year, nor likely to be the last.

What will this upcoming week bring? Definitely moving the onions out of the field, and lots of other harvesting (eggplants and watermelons being two of the main crops).

Elaine Swiedler, CSA Manager

The post News From the Farm | August 2, 2021 appeared first on Full Belly Farm.

News From the Farm | July 12, 2021

We are having some very hot days here at the farm, an experience that we share with other inland Californians. The heat is bringing on the produce. Trucks and trailers full of melons, eggplants, peppers, beans and other delicious summer treats are driving along the farm’s dirt roads, from the fields and to the packing shed, in a parade that reaches a crescendo at the end of the day as the harvest is completed. It is ‘all hands on deck’ in the packing shed then, when several dozen people finish the last packaging, put produce in the coolers and load trucks.  Each day is incredibly detail laden, full of troubleshooting, decision making and continuous attempts to balance multiple needs.

                             

Samples of the new varieties of tomatoes, peppers or eggplants that are ready are brought into the office nested in someone’s T-shirt, found while scouting the fields. Green, orange, red, purple and all the colors of the rainbow are on show.  A list of availabilities shows that there are pallets of melons ready for new homes off the farm.  This is what the sales team lives for, each summertime of bounty when we can offer up sweet abundance.

The heat and drought inject a sense of uncertainty about the future — Will it rain next winter?  Will we damp down our planet-warming activities sufficiently to avoid the worst of climate change?  Not that there is any uncertainty about the reality itself, just about our ability to respond.  Climate change drove this heat wave and made it hotter than it would have been. Think of the town of Lytton in British Columbia which first suffered the country’s highest-ever temperature (121.3F) and then, the next day burned to the ground in the first week of July as hot, dry and windy conditions pushed a fire through town.

June 2021 was the hottest on record for interior California including the Sierra Nevada and southeastern deserts.  There were 175 all-time record high temperatures set in Northern California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho between June 25th and 30th.  Hot, dry conditions have all kinds of effects — like the massive population of grasshoppers that is attacking everything green in Oregon and Montana.  The drought provides ideal conditions for their eggs to hatch and for the grasshoppers to survive into adulthood.  The USDA is engaged in a massive spraying program to attack the grasshoppers, while organic farmers in the landscape are fighting to protect their certification.

Agriculture can be a net sink for greenhouse gasses because of the ability to sequester carbon in soil and plants and also because of the very important opportunities in agriculture to reduce methane and nitrous oxide emissions.  The authorities will quibble about some of the details, but one thing is clear.  It is critically important right now that we keep plants and especially trees growing on the land. Agriculturally-driven deforestation, the conversion of natural ecosystems to agricultural land, and urbanization are the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions on the planet.

Each of us can change elements of our lifestyle to reduce our personal climate footprint, but we should also take the present opportunity to encourage change at the federal level.  Congress is debating the Climate Stewardship Act and the Agricultural Resilience Act. The legislation would double Farm Bill conservation funding; triple research and extension project funding; and invest in rural and food system resilience over the next ten years. The Climate Stewardship Act would support planting trees and reviving deforested landscapes.  The California Climate and Agriculture Network is asking all of us to take action in support of these policies by calling or emailing our Senators and Representatives.

Our great grandkids and future generations of farmers may look back on these times and thank us for peering over the brink and then turning back. If we are organized and strategic, they too will have the opportunity to get sweet summer melons and tomatoes from their local farmer.

Judith Redmond

The post News From the Farm | July 12, 2021 appeared first on Full Belly Farm.

News From the Farm | July 5, 2021

We keep reaching various milestones that make me think “well now it’s officially summer.” The first sungold cherry tomato, the first slice of watermelon, the first okra, the list goes on and on. In addition to all the great produce, summer for us means there’s even more to do. More to water, sell, harvest, sort, wash, pack, load, transport, and deliver. And we still need to plant and maintain fall crops so that we’ll have things to harvest when the summer crops (eventually) wind down.

Summer means that everyone is busier, but it was most apparent to me last week when looking at the truckload process at the end of the day. This is an important part of running the farm because it’s how the fruits (and vegetables) of our labor are delivered to CSA sites, grocery stores, farmers markets, restaurants, and wholesalers. This is a big task. First, we choose the right size truck to fit everything based on the orders that need to be delivered the next day. Then, it’s important that the right boxes go into the correct truck, that they’re loaded in the right order, and that they’re arranged and handled in order to keep them in good condition. There’s no point in carefully harvesting and packing a CSA box, flat of peaches, or bucket of bouquets if it doesn’t get to the person expecting it, or if it arrives damaged. This task, part Tetris, part Jenga, part magic, is spearheaded by Jose and Ben, executed by the intern crew, with Rye, Pancho, and Jan on hand on many days as well. It’s a flurry of activity – moving things around with pallet jacks, securing boxes with straps and shrink wrap, checking and double-checking various lists and box labels to make sure that everything is going in the right truck in the right order.

Like everything else at the farm, truckload also gets busier during the summer when we’ve got larger quantities of produce to deliver, including some really heavy items, like melons, and some delicate things, like stone fruit. It’s the same job, but now with larger volumes, more customers, and potentially more trucks to think about, it’s a little more complex and certainly takes longer.

When the last item is loaded, the doors of the truck are closed, the refrigeration units are switched on so that the produce stays fresh, and then the trucks are ready to go for the next morning when our drivers head out really early on their delivery routes. And they know that when they get to their first stop, the items they need won’t be packed all the way at the back!

It’s difficult to really understand the end of the day truckload via photo, but see below for an idea of what the end of our day looks like.

Starting with an empty truck

Just some of the items to load

Lyla with her finished masterpiece

Making final additions to a market truck

Pancho getting ready to close the door on a very full truck

 

Elaine Swiedler

CSA Manager

The post News From the Farm | July 5, 2021 appeared first on Full Belly Farm.

This Week’s CSA Box

Veggie Tips

 

Radish – French breakfast radishes in your box! Crisp and spicy, with the added bonus of the greens on top. They make a great addition to a salad, tacos, omelets, toast, and more, or can be roasted or turned into a quick pickle.  We’ve also got a recipe on our site for a tartine with eggplant (you can use arugula in the place of mizuna) and they go well in this farro dish paired with chard.

 

Apples – We grow multiple types of apples; this week we’re using Fuji apples in your box. You know how to eat them. but do you know how to store them? Unless you’re going to eat them within 2-3 days, place them in the crisper drawer in a plastic bag with holes in it or cover the apples with a damp paper towel. Be careful about what else you have stored with apples: apples give off ethylene gas, which can speed the ripening (and decay) of neighboring produce.

 

Chard – Chard is very easy to cook; it cooks quickly and goes with almost any seasoning. Here are basic cooking instructions for making it plain, but you can add other seasonings and sauces, add it into a frittata or pasta dish, or even make a slaw with raw chard. The stems are nice and crunchy; don’t throw them out! If you don’t want to use them in the dish that you’re cooking, save them for another fun dish, like pickled or with beans. Store chard in the fridge in a relatively moist setting: either in a plastic bag or if you’re a no-plastic household, in a reusable container or wrapped/rolled in slightly damp, thin towels. Just don’t put it straight in the fridge or it will dry out!

 

Butternut Squash – Butternut squash is probably one of the most popular and well-known winter squash for a reason. It’s really tasty and very versatile. And it stores well. Keep in a cool, dry place until ready to use, not in the fridge. It only makes sense to refrigerate them if you notice a scratch on the outside that looks like it’ll cause your squash to go bad. Butternut squash is thought of as a staple of hearty winter fare, but it’s good for so much more than pureed soup. You’ll have plenty of time to make those kind of dishes later in winter; for now, try pairing it with late summer produce like eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, and more. Or roast it in cubes and add to other dishes 

 

Parsley – You can store parsley like you do basil (in a glass of water) but put in the fridge, or it can go in a plastic bag, preferably wrapped in a slightly damp towel or paper towel (see more here). Try this butternut tabbouleh dish!

 

Melon – We’re almost at the end of melon season! But not yet. We include all different types of melons in your boxes, so please reference the melon page on our website for melon recipe ideas and to identify your melon. 

 

Onion 

 

The post This Week’s CSA Box appeared first on Full Belly Farm.

News From the Farm | March 15, 2021

Along with 20 other farms, our farm got to participate in a pop-up COVID vaccine clinic last week.  The clinic was organized by Yolo County and took place on a nearby farm.  In all, 338 farmworkers got the Johnson and Johnson vaccine (so we don’t need to go back) and over 200 people returned to get their second Pfizer vaccine after a clinic at the same farm a couple of weeks ago.  By the end of this month, we can rest assured that 90% of our crew is protected.

Yolo County announced its intention to vaccinate frontline workers on February 15th and started pop-up clinics on farms a few days later. These clinics are part of a landmark effort in California to bring the vaccine directly to the fields.  Reports of similar pop-up clinics have come from Riverside, Monterey, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Marin, and small farmworker towns in Tulare and Fresno Counties.

These clinics are noteworthy for taking place in usually underserved areas like Dinuba, Earlimart and Porterville.  Farmworkers are at high risk of getting COVID, and outbreaks have crippled the work force on farms across the country.  Between Mid-July and November of last year, 13% of farmworkers in the Salinas Valley tested positive in comparison to only 5% of Californians in general.   Latino food and ag workers age 18 to 65 in CA had a nearly 60% increase in mortality during 2020 compared with pre-pandemic times — that’s a very high risk factor.

Farmworkers often live in crowded, multigenerational houses, eat together in dining halls,  travel to work and out to the fields in crowded vans, or work in bustling packing houses.  They can have spotty internet access and may be wary of registering for government programs at large vaccination sites.  Yet these workers never missed a beat when the shelter in place was announced — they are the first step in the chain that gets food to everyone’s table. For all of these reasons, the prioritization of farm workers and the on-farm clinics to deliver those vaccines make a tremendous amount of sense.  When was the last time that you saw farmworkers get preferential treatment for anything?

California is ahead of the curve in terms of farm worker vaccines.  In states like Georgia, Texas, New York and Florida, farmworkers are not yet in the priority groups authorized to receive the shots.  Although the CDC recommended that farm workers should be prioritized along with other essential workers, the CDC also allowed states to set their own priorities and some states are requiring documentation of legal residency which is a good way to disqualify many farm workers. In my view, if ever there was a clear need to set aside the requirement for documentation, this is the time.

With the shortage of vaccines (which hopefully is going to become a thing of the past) and the limitations in logistical preparation, health officials everywhere are grappling with questions of equity.  In California, where 40% of the vaccines are supposed to be directed to disadvantaged areas, there are still inequities.  By February 19th, 24% of African Americans over the age of 65 in Los Angeles had received a vaccine, compared to 43% of white residents in the same age bracket. One of our farmers market crew members, an 80-year old African American without a car or smart phone, needed a COVID test a few months ago.  He walked all the way to a test site and was turned away because he didn’t have an appointment. In that same time frame, all of the other members of the farmers market crew (all white) were easily able to get tested.

The cruelties of this disease are everywhere to see. One of our employees is now 65 years old. She was able to get an appointment for a vaccine the day before her 65th birthday (they were hard to get and that was the day that was open). When she arrived, she was turned away because she was not yet 65. Tragically, she since has developed COVID. When an employee gets COVID, it has a significant and wide-reaching impact. Co-workers have to be quarantined and tested. Tests need to be timed correctly with respect to exposure to the sick individual. Housing has to be found for people who don’t want to take the chance of infecting others in their homes. The work of all the quarantined people has to be covered by others. The sick person has to be monitored and cared for. Anxieties need to be assuaged and questions need to be answered. 

We have treated Full Belly like a bubble with respect to COVID.  We have restricted access to visitors and severely limited social activities.  Within our Full Belly bubble, there are smaller bubbles — the kitchen bubble, the packing shed bubble, the intern bubble, the office bubble, and several other crew bubbles.  We have tried to keep the bubbles separate, but they do tend to bump into each other. The same is true out on planet Earth.  None of us are really in bubbles that can be kept isolated from the rest of  humanity.

After taking so many precautions for a year, it will be some time before we are ready to lift too many of the restrictions, despite the vaccinations.  We intend to stay the course that we have established, maybe with a few small adjustments. We are hugely grateful that our crew has been vaccinated, and hope that all others across the globe, who want to be vaccinated, will be able to get it done soon.  Meanwhile we hope that you stay healthy and eat your veggies!

Blessings on your meals,

Judith Redmond

The post News From the Farm | March 15, 2021 appeared first on Full Belly Farm.

News From the Farm | March 15, 2021

Along with 20 other farms, our farm got to participate in a pop-up COVID vaccine clinic last week.  The clinic was organized by Yolo County and took place on a nearby farm.  In all, 338 farmworkers got the Johnson and Johnson vaccine (so we don’t need to go back) and over 200 people returned to get their second Pfizer vaccine after a clinic at the same farm a couple of weeks ago.  By the end of this month, we can rest assured that 90% of our crew is protected.

Yolo County announced its intention to vaccinate frontline workers on February 15th and started pop-up clinics on farms a few days later. These clinics are part of a landmark effort in California to bring the vaccine directly to the fields.  Reports of similar pop-up clinics have come from Riverside, Monterey, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Marin, and small farmworker towns in Tulare and Fresno Counties.

These clinics are noteworthy for taking place in usually underserved areas like Dinuba, Earlimart and Porterville.  Farmworkers are at high risk of getting COVID, and outbreaks have crippled the work force on farms across the country.  Between Mid-July and November of last year, 13% of farmworkers in the Salinas Valley tested positive in comparison to only 5% of Californians in general.   Latino food and ag workers age 18 to 65 in CA had a nearly 60% increase in mortality during 2020 compared with pre-pandemic times — that’s a very high risk factor.

Farmworkers often live in crowded, multigenerational houses, eat together in dining halls,  travel to work and out to the fields in crowded vans, or work in bustling packing houses.  They can have spotty internet access and may be wary of registering for government programs at large vaccination sites.  Yet these workers never missed a beat when the shelter in place was announced — they are the first step in the chain that gets food to everyone’s table. For all of these reasons, the prioritization of farm workers and the on-farm clinics to deliver those vaccines make a tremendous amount of sense.  When was the last time that you saw farmworkers get preferential treatment for anything?

California is ahead of the curve in terms of farm worker vaccines.  In states like Georgia, Texas, New York and Florida, farmworkers are not yet in the priority groups authorized to receive the shots.  Although the CDC recommended that farm workers should be prioritized along with other essential workers, the CDC also allowed states to set their own priorities and some states are requiring documentation of legal residency which is a good way to disqualify many farm workers. In my view, if ever there was a clear need to set aside the requirement for documentation, this is the time.

With the shortage of vaccines (which hopefully is going to become a thing of the past) and the limitations in logistical preparation, health officials everywhere are grappling with questions of equity.  In California, where 40% of the vaccines are supposed to be directed to disadvantaged areas, there are still inequities.  By February 19th, 24% of African Americans over the age of 65 in Los Angeles had received a vaccine, compared to 43% of white residents in the same age bracket. One of our farmers market crew members, an 80-year old African American without a car or smart phone, needed a COVID test a few months ago.  He walked all the way to a test site and was turned away because he didn’t have an appointment. In that same time frame, all of the other members of the farmers market crew (all white) were easily able to get tested.

Continue reading News From the Farm | March 15, 2021

News From the Farm | November 30, 2020

As you’ve hopefully heard, we’re fast approaching our annual winter break. We’ll be closed from December 13 through January 10 with just a skeleton crew making sure the plants and animals have what they need. During the break, we’ll be catching up on some much needed rest and we won’t be packing and delivering CSAs, making deliveries to stores and restaurants, or going to the farmers markets.

Until then we’ve got produce to harvest, transplants to get in the ground, and soil to prep. Some places on the farm have already started their break – our fields. After a summer being the home for tomatoes, melons, winter squash, eggplant, peppers, flowers, and more, they’ve earned their rest too. Some fields will be turned over to a winter crop right away but for those that we can rest, what’re our options?

Driving around Yolo County right now you see a lot of fields that recently had a crop and have been plowed, the rows have been shaped for next spring’s plantings, and they’ll be left as is until then. During the winter a few weeds will sprout, but they’ll largely stay as they look now, just exposed soil.

Fallowing is one option but it comes with significant risks and downsides and isn’t what we do. Instead we plant cover crops. They’re a key tool in the organic farmer toolbox and in many ways they’re one of our more important crops – so lets explore what they are and why we plant them.

A cover crop is identified by its purpose not the plant type. A cover crop might be something that can be eaten but it’s grown to benefit the soil, not to yield a crop that will be harvested and sold.

If we don’t get paid for growing them, why do it? Cover crops can (1) slow or prevent soil erosion, (2) enhance water infiltration and water availability, (3) control weeds, pests, and diseases, (4) increase crop yields, (5) add nitrogen and other essential plant nutrients to the soil, (6) sequester carbon, (7) improve soil tilth and reduce compaction, and (8) create an ecosystem for beneficial insects and pollinators, and more. Over time, cover crops can increase crop yields and create better soil health. Soil is teaming with life that needs care and nourishment just like the plants do. While these crops dont feed us, they do feed soil microbes and increase soil fertility. Cover crops are a long-term investment in health of the farm; often these benefits take a few years to reveal themselves. There’s a lot we do know about soil and the soil microbiome and the benefits of cover crops, but scientists are still uncovering more every year and the positive results have led the state of California to develop the Health Soils Program, which provides financial incentives to California growers and ranchers to implement conservation management practices, including cover cropping, that sequester carbon, reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases, and improve soil health.

If these benefits are so well known, then why don’t more farmers use them? A few key factors stand out. First, the cost – from the seed, potential irrigation, and the time and fuel used to plant and then eventually cut down and mow these crops. Then, the nutrients will not be immediately available to the plants, unlike synthetic fertilizers. Additionally, some plant species can act as a host for plant diseases and pests. And having to process the biomass from the cover crops can create scheduling and equipment challenges, especially in a wet year when the water-retaining skills of a cover crop can make a field too wet to work.

After weighing the tradeoffs, we think it’s worth it, as do many organic farmers, so we’ve got a decent chunk of our land planted in cover crops right now. What do we plant?  We plant a cover crop mix, not just one plant. We use a mix of legumes (peas, vetch, fava beans, clovers), grasses or grains, and other plants like radish for the mix of benefits that they provide. Legumes will fix nitrogen, grasses add carbon, and large-rooted plants like radish break up the soil. We have cover crops going all seasons of the year, but we tend to do most in the winter since (in theory) rain will provide most of the irrigation.

So we’ve got a lot of fields that look like the picture on the left. By next spring, we hope it’s a tall, healthy cover crop (like the photo on the right). You’ll never see the cover crops in your box, but every bite of produce that you do enjoy is due in part to the cover crop that preceded it in the field.

 

The post News From the Farm | November 30, 2020 appeared first on Full Belly Farm.

News From the Farm | November 23, 2020

   

A recently transplanted field of onions!


Every family has their own set of Thanksgiving traditions. One thing my family often does is go around the table and each of us reflect on something we’re thankful for. A natural pessimist, I appreciate the opportunity to look past all the things going wrong and instead focus on all that I have to be grateful for. 

If you were to invite Full Belly Farm to your table this year, what would we say? On Friday, I checked in with some of the Full Belly Farm team to see what we’re feeling thankful for this year. There were a lot of similarities in our answers, lightly edited and condensed for you below:

  • health: the health of our families, friends, and the Full Belly crew
  • family: a healthy family (especially family working in hospitals and health care), kids who say funny things 
  • other people: good co-workers, the customers who buy and eat our produce, a supportive community
  • weather: the end of fire season, fall colors, cooler weather and shorter days, crisp autumn mornings, the rain we got last week, carrot season!
  • animals: puppies (from two different people!), our happy and well cared for chickens and the eggs that they lay
  • bigger things: “todo” (everything) – from a particularly peppy crew washing produce in the shop, “dios” (God), good food to eat, our homes, “a place to live that is beautiful and healthy”

And the thing everyone mentioned, from those of us that have been at the farm for 23 years or three weeks like me: that we are thankful not just to have a job in a time when so many don’t, but that we are specifically thankful to be working at Full Belly Farm. Why? Meaningful work feeding people, good leadership, good coworkers, doing tasks that we like, opportunities to learn and grow, and a collaborative, supportive environment where you feel cared for as a person. 

Thanks to Andrew, Antonio, Bonafacio, Brenda, Francisco, Heather, Hector, Isabel, Jenna, Judith, Maria, Panchy, Paola, Shannon, and others for sharing. And thank you CSA members for your support of the farm! Wishing you all a healthy and happy Thanksgiving.

— Elaine Swiedler, CSA Manager

The post News From the Farm | November 23, 2020 appeared first on Full Belly Farm.