"Even a wounded world is feeding us. Even a wounded world holds us, giving us moments of wonder and joy. I choose joy over despair. Not because I have my head in the sand, but because joy is what the earth gives me daily and I must return the gift."
- Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass
It is raining buckets as I write this from home. Tropical Storm Henri has gifted all of us farm crew with the first weekday off in a long while. We’ve been fortunate enough to miss the strong winds that we were warned of leading up to the storm, too.
Rain can be very welcome for farmers - just last year was the driest and hottest summer on record - but 2021 has brought with it more water than we know what to do with. Our greens crops have just begun to rebound from an entire month of rain in July; we’re experiencing plenty of water-related issues with both our summer and winter squashes. And still we are truckin’ along, each week harvesting a new and wonderful gift from the two green acres I have familiarized myself with since late April of this year.
I came to Husky Meadows in search of the chance to grow food on a substantial scale. I’ve kept a small veggie garden for a decade or more at my parent’s home in Nepaug, CT; it is only within the last year or so that I realized how much of me needed a full-time connection to the earth. I’ve worked office jobs. They don’t come with the joy of finding a newt or a really big earthworm under your keyboard.
Ever since I was little, I’ve been absolutely enraptured with wild critters of all kinds. In my budding twenties, plants began to show up for me as I delved into herbalism studies and spent a summer as a landscape gardener. Every morning that I show up to the farm, I am greeted by plants that feel like friends; I smile a little when a frog jumps out ahead of me. Not to mention the nesting pair of ravens that call Husky Meadows their home. Believe me when I say, those birds are big.
Truthfully, it feels asinine to pursue a career as a first-generation farmer knowing the extent of the climate crisis today. I know that storms like Henri will increase in frequency and intensity in the years to come; I also know we’re just as bound to experience drought even worse than what 2020 brought. I know that land is more expensive than it used to be, and I hear stories of farmers who have struggled to make ends meet decades before I was even born.
And yet, I know that people need to eat. I’ve watched single seeds dropped into a tray on a rainy May afternoon transform into a brilliant smile on a customer’s face at a Saturday morning farmer’s market. I dream of a world where most, not some, can enjoy the satisfaction of in-season fruits and veggies; of a world where soil stewardship is the norm. People need to eat, and they need farmers to grow food for them in a way that can support future generations. Every action I take in my day-to-day on the farm directly contributes to producing food in harmony with the land that we are so fortunate to have. Every harvest feels like a gift given from this patch of earth; still I know it was the care of us all that made it possible in the first place. I choose this work for the joy that I find working in the dirt, memories of which might just remain under my fingernails long after this season has passed.