Over the holidays I have undergone tests, and last Friday afternoon I was told that I have cancer in my spine. At this moment we do not know exactly which cancer or how aggressive it is. It all started in the early fall when I had pains in my back. My chiropractor referred me to a massage therapist as it all pointed to muscle tension.  He made me promise that if it did not clear up, I would go for a blood test.

We have no idea where this came from, no family history or other indications. At this point there is no looking back, I am very positive person, and this does not change that one bit. It is a challenge that I will take on, head on.

I told José, my good friend and our farm foreman, last Friday afternoon. He asked me what could he do. Simple. I said, “Produce even more amazing Eatwell boxes than ever before.” Eighteen families depend on Eatwell Farm, and if I have done my job right, then they are very capable of running the farm while I face my challenge with cancer. I have every confidence in all the people here who each and every week  work hard to produce some of the best vegetables, fruit, eggs, flour herbs and lavender.

I spent some time over the weekend calling close friends and longtime members of the farm. All asked what they could do. I replied that the simple fact of holding my family in your thoughts is plenty.  A very tangible act would be to continue to support us with our Eatwell boxes and/or buying from us at the market. This money will help us cope with all the changes.

We have been planning a membership drive to start this week for several months now. This is more important that ever. You know how great the produce, eggs etc. are so I ask that you help us recruit more members. José and I have planned and planted enough to fill up to 1,000 boxes per week. Currently, due to economic conditions we are supplying 660 this week. We have created a postcard with a picture of our box plus some eggs. Lorraine has written a nice, personal description of what being a member of the farm really is.

Please share the postcard. Maybe you have a place to put such a card with information where you work, your gym, place of worship, coffee shop etc. If you need more postcards, you will be able to order them at no charge as a add-on to your box. You can also call or email Ashlee in the office at organic@eatwell.com or (707) 999-1150.  Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

The farm website/blog will remain focused on the farm. I have had several suggestions on ways to provide more up-to-date information for those who wish to seek it. More details on this later.

I will be able to meet this challenge with all the support around me. Lorraine and I were married last year, we finished building our house, and there is so much more to do on the farm and with my family. We have plans for a new pack house based on the design principles of our green roof home. I have everything to live for and quite frankly have only just got up to speed. I was asked by a doctor about my mental health asking if my glass was half full or half empty. My reply was overflowing. I consider myself extremely lucky. I love what I do. Lorraine is the most amazing partner and wife, and I have a great family, friends and dedicated fellow workers here on the farm... Nigel