Big Picture, Small Farm

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Hello and happy harvest day!

We had a light harvest this week. It is the time of the season when thriving spring crops humbly bow out to make way for the summer crops. Unfortunately, the summer veggies are slow to the show. We've got samples of all our summer veggies, but nothing is coming out of the fields in full force. Anyway, all this to say, get to the market early if you want some of that summer flavor!

Important and Exciting!! Hidden Penny Farm has a beautiful new logo! We're not quite at the stage where we're selling merchandise, but we do want to represent the farm we love so much and are so proud of, so we're having sweatshirts made. If you also want to rep HPF from near and far, let me know. I'll attach photos of the mock up sweatshirts. We're buying them according to the pre-orders we receive, so let me know by next Wednesday if you'd like one, and in what size and color. The green and blue are men's sizes, the lighter green and blue are women's. (They don't have the logo pictured on them, but use your imagination.) They are $20 each, that covers the cost of the sweatshirt, the printing, and shipping if you need yours shipped.

Here's what we've got this week:

Harvest: sugar snap peas (the last until our fall crop), hakurei turnips, carrots, head lettuce, salad mix, spinach, zucchini, yellow squash, green beans, and TOMATOES! We have a small amount of gold cherry tomatoes. They are beautiful and delicious.
On Deck: Radishes will be back next week, as will arugula.
Where to find us: Port Angeles Farmers Market, Transit Center, Saturday 10-2

We had dinner with new friends last night. We ate potatoes, harvested only hours earlier, then boiled and dipped in a spicy peanut sauce. We ate sitting in a field, the grass as tall as our shoulders. We ate with our fingers, peeling the skin of the potatoes and returning it to the earth, and we drank sun tea. The Elwah was only yards away, and the Olympic Mountains watched over us. It was lovely to say the least.

Our new friends (I hope calling them that isn't too presumptuous) are farmers. They are also visionaries. Talking with them has reignited a spark in me that I had forgotten existed. I fell in love with farming in college in the way that college students fall in love with things. They read theory, they dream, they have the hubris of youth and new knowledge and none of the experience that jades us later on. I fell in love with food and farming and their potential to build and support community. I believed strongly that farms could be the bedrock of thriving communities. Food was a unifier of people. Food systems could connect all the moving parts so we could all thrive.

Six years later, after 5 years of teaching, I found myself working on a five acre market farm in Fort Collins, Colorado. My years as a teacher had shrunken my scope in a way. I went into education in the same impassioned way that I fell in love with farming, because I believed in the system of public education. The big picture was alluring, but it was hard to hold onto. I hadn't nurtured my tendency to have a systems level perspective, and in turn, I had lost my passion and become a cog in the wheel. I was burned out and so I left. Farming was such a breath of fresh air. I was inspired by the beauty of produce and how the owners made farming a profitable career, but I still hadn't zoomed out far enough to appreciate the significant work we were doing as producers in our local food system.

But last night, all of that passion came rushing back and I am all sorts of worked up about it. It suddenly feels like there is so much important work to do besides just growing fruits and vegetables. I feel like I have so much more perspective for who we are and the potential role we could play in our town and county. I know Port Angeles has small farms, I know it has restaurants and people who care about local food, but there's much more that I don't know. We're new here. We're just plugging in. We tossed around new ideas last night that reminded me that I'm not just a solo farmer on her veggie island, I'm part of a larger system and I can have an impact on that system and hopefully a role in helping shape it.

There's a lot going on right now in our nation. A lot on a national scale that can make the individual, in our routine daily lives, feel helpless. What do we do each day to feel like we have control and impact when so much on a larger level feels chaotic and uncontrollable? I hope that everyone can find the place in their communities, no matter how small and localized (read: households, neighborhoods, workplaces, towns, counties...) to feel like they have the opportunity to affect positive change. Or just have a say in some way. I've reconnected with the idea of being a part of a local food system. As a farmer, I can be an access point to health: the health of our neighbors, the land, and our local economy. This new identity is giving me energy that hasn't been tapped into in a long time.

So wherever you are, I hope you find your source of energy and impact. One thing you can do is be a consumer of local food. Buy from farms near you. Do your research first. Find the ones that support growing food in a way that supports the health of our soil and ecosystems. It is an investment in so much more than your health.

All the best from our tiny farm,

PS: Don't forget to check out the attached sweatshirt options and get back to me if you'd like one!

Women's Blue Women's Gray Men's Blue Men's Green