It’s hard to believe it was just 7 months ago, I pulled into the drive at the farm for the first time. I had no idea what to expect, or where this project might take me. The pages of my idea notebook were filled with shots I wanted to get, questions to ask and things to observe for. In just a couple of visits I had crossed everything off those shot lists. All that was left to do was to be open to the experience that lay before me; to take in the details of each visit, the knowledge offered by Terra, Matt and Max and the beauty of the fields as the season wore on.
My last official visit to the farm was on Tuesday. The evidence of fall is everywhere. The plants are weary and so are the farmers. The busy-ness of the season is over and the focus now has turned to clean up and preservation. There are still a few crops in the fields…turnips, beets, rutabaga and salad greens, all labeled for wholesale. Herbs are drying on racks to be enjoyed over the winter in sauces and soups. Mushrooms, dormant from the summer heat are making an appearance. The beautiful tomato trellises that were so heavy with fruit are now brown and sagging under their own weight. In the days to come they will be taken down.
Driving home, I reflected on how this project evolved over the course of the season. I began with clear expectations in my mind about what I wanted it to be, what I hoped to learn. The reality is that it became so much more. Sure, I learned about organic farming, the cycle of planting and harvest and the organization that goes into running a CSA, but what I saw was the hard work (HARD work) that goes in to bringing food from the fields to our tables. People don’t go into this line of work to make a ton of money. They go into it because they are passionate about how food is grown and have a desire to feed people and show them that the best kind of food comes from the earth. I am forever grateful to Terra, Matt and Max for showing this to both myself and my family. We are changed for the better.
So, what’s in store for the farm now that the season is over? Well, a much deserved vacation is in the works, to rest, replenish and see friends. They continue to look for a permanent place to make their own and put into work all the plans they have for expanding what they have already begun. Just like searching for a home, searching for land takes time, money and finding a good fit. They are confident all that they’ve learned will lead them to the land where they are meant to be. “All roads lead to the homestead”, Terra says with a smile. I believe this is most certainly true and I can’t wait to see all that they will do, once they get there.
Click here to see the entire season of The Farm to Table Project. Special thanks to all of you that have commented, emailed and shared posts over the course of this project. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.