Letter to Members #7

Hello farm members and friends,

Sorry for the delay in writing this update. The farm has been busier than usual. The spring fields needed to be put to bed for the season, the fall crops were introduced to their new home and the main crops have required an inordinate amount of weeding and shepherding.  The newest challenge is the kamikaze diving crows.  This unsavory bunch of avian hooligans has been dive-bombing my tomatoes, zucchini and melons for no other obvious reason other than to annoy me.  This latest trial has really tested my fortitude, and frankly, some days I get close to capacity.

The recent cooler nights have created a desire to reminisce. As I look over the fields, I see a lesson learned in each row. Each foot of field is a reminder of things that transpired, both beautiful and frustrating. It always takes a large dose of faith to believe that everything happens for a reason. In yoga teachings, something (GW should “something” be replaced with “which” or “that”?-PW) I hold dear to my heart, there is a principle that a teacher comes in every form, meaning that good or bad, one is wiser for the experience. 

As the farm slowly cycles from one season to the next, I can’t help but think of stages of my own life that have come and gone, only to be replaced by the next. It’s hard to say goodbye honestly, to people, to places and, more recently, to the vegetables that I spend so many hours with. My hope is that with each goodbye, an indelible lesson has been learned that will make each subsequent relationship more profound because I will cherish it more.

Masanobu Fukuoka, a revolutionary Japanese farmer once wrote, “The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.” At the time of first reading this particular quote had very little meaning to me, and now, after almost a full season of farming, I believe I still only grasp a small portion of what he meant, but the insightfulness of his comment is certainly less foreign. 

The lessons on the field have impacted my life off the field like no other endeavor I’ve ever undertaken. Farming teaches me to be humble and grateful, to be patient, to be bold and to accept what befalls me despite all efforts for the contrary. The farm has been a teacher, both nurturing and punishing.

Perfection has never been my goal, in farming nor in life, but moving towards a better version of ourselves should be. As I roll one row into the ground to sow another, Id like to think that it’s just another step in the right direction of being a compassionate human, farmer, friend.

Thank you to all my teachers, in all forms.

With gratitude,

Farmer Frank