Where we came from, where we're going
It’s 1985 or so, probably July. It’s hot outside, but cool in the shade. Chase, my little brother, is running around behind Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Grandma is the one behind the lens. You’re looking through her eyes here, at her everyday.
You can see Grandpa sitting next to the car. He always worked like that, even late in life: just sitting down wherever the work needed doing. Always, he wore his sleeves long. Here, he’s replacing the blades on the sickle mower, one blade at a time. There were railroad ties and pieces of metal around, ready to help him smash the blades off and mushroom the rivets to reattach them.
I love this picture because it’s just a day. It’s nothing special. At the same time, it’s everything special to me. It’s a link between what I do here and the people who made it possible.
I always feel the need, when talking about the farm’s history, to caution against nostalgia. We’re not a living history. We’re not keeping a long-ago tradition alive. We aren’t some vestige of time gone by. I use different tools and techniques than my father did, and than his father did. I have much different ideas of what a farm means, and what it can mean to others.
At the same time, though, understanding where we came from gives me perspective. Not everyone gets the privilege of growing up in a space like this one. I learn new ways it’s shaped me every time I talk to someone new. It’s still shaping me. And because we exist now, open to our community, it’s shaping other people, too. Increasingly, people who are hungry for a level of connection to nature that they can’t find elsewhere come here. People who are open and curious arrive at our market doors.
When you come here, you’re part of what we do. You’re part of our family. Most of all, you’re part of our future.