Hello Eatwell friends, As many of you know, this week is my last in the office at Eatwell Farm and looking back it's been quite an exciting and eventful past year and a half! It's never a dull moment here at the farm and although it often feels like there is not enough time in the day, I have enjoyed every minute of it. I have so many wonderful memories, have learned a great deal, and made some wonderful friendships.
Being involved in the local food community is quite an enriching experience and something I've grown passionate about. Soon after graduating with undergraduate degrees, my partner Robert and I became the proud owners of a small pecan farm in Central Texas. We sold our tasty goods at the local farmer's market and delved right into the local food movement there. What a satisfying feeling to provide a quality, locally produced product to those in your community; it makes all the hard work worth it!
Robert felt inspired to learn more about sustainable agriculture and received a fellowship from UCDAVIS and we headed to California so he could pursue graduate studies. It was a tough decision to leave our little farm behind and realized it would be more of a challenge to manage from afar, but knew there would be great opportunities for learning here.
As luck would have it, I found Eatwell and discovered it right about the time Molly, the previous CSA Manager, was leaving. It was a whirlwind training as there was a big change in staff at the time and in the middle of the busiest time of year. I remember thinking to myself, "well, it's just a really busy time", but then quickly learned that is how this farm life is. Small-scale sustainable farming is not super profitable and it is a 24/7 job, but it is honest and fulfilling work. Knowing you are providing a valuable service, promoting health and well-being, cultivating community, and setting an important example for the future of agriculture keeps you going and makes you want to work even harder.
I don't have to tell you how amazing Nigel is, as you all already know. The motivation behind his farming is aptly stated in Eatwell's motto, "Food for Body and Soul". He is a real person and is motivated to keep doing what he loves by the smiles on the faces of Eatwell members. There is a sparkle in his eye when members visit the farm, and have that connection to the source of their nourishment. He handles situations that most people would feel are devastating with grace and humility. He and Lorraine are inspiring individuals and I am grateful to call them friends.
Ashlee has been my amazing assistant in the office for the last year and she is excited and ready to move into the CSA Manager chair. She has great attention to detail, is dedicated, patient, and loves the farm. She has a great relationship with the farm crew as she has been teaching them English since the Spring. She and I have worked for months to get the new online system up and running and we hope you all find it to be an improvement! I am happy to pass the torch on to her and think she will be great!
Many of you know that I have been commuting to Dixon from Sonoma County for the last few months. Robert and I moved to Santa Rosa during the Summer when he became the new Sustainable Agriculture Program Coordinator at Santa Rosa Junior College. I am looking forward to starting graduate school in the Spring and will be looking for a job as well. I'm excited about settling in to my new home and new community.
I hope to see you all at the Harvest Market at Eatwell Farm this Sunday November 20th! It's our first time to host an event this late in the year and the farm is just beautiful right now. The leaves are changing on the trees, the air is crisp, and the rows of greens are lovely. It's a great opportunity to get your hands dirty, get some holiday shopping done, and visit with fellow Eatwell folks. Visit our events page for more information and come on out for a fun, festive, fall, farm day!
I've really enjoyed getting to know you all and can't imagine a more wonderful community of people. Thank you for your support of this small, family farm.
Many thanks and best wishes,