Ah, the last newsletter of the year.  It has been a wild ride, both joyous and difficult.  I am looking forward to some crucial downtime over the next ten days, to rest and reflect before beginning the journey anew.  I will sit down with my personal values and goals worksheet, and I will consider the path forward and what I would like to accomplish.

      Strategic planning is essential, as the old saying goes “a failure to plan is a plan to fail”.  The process of expanding the CSA has been a deep joy, very much a dream come true. It is also a monumental effort that requires careful planning and consideration.  As I look to the year ahead, there are many factors to consider. It has been a joy to form stronger working relationships with local farmers, and to help get farm produce to people who will enjoy eating it.

      The mission of local food security and thriving local farm networks will continue in the year to come, as will our efforts as farmers and stewards of the land.  Policy work will still require a large chunk of time, and balancing these aspects will remain difficult. I am glad for the strength and support that comes from family and friends, and that the journey we have embarked upon will continue.

       We have put the farm to bed for the winter, soil resting gently under cover crops and straw.  The rains have come, and the landscape rejoices. The ponds are almost full, holding the lifeblood for the year to come.  Lush cover crop shines in the rows, while the tattered stalks of sunflowers remind us of the summer gone by, leaning in haphazard confusion while the birds glean the last of their seeds.  

        Sunflowers are a joy each year, popping up all over the garden from the seeds deposited by wind, birds and other creatures who make use of them for food.  It is always a joy to see them go from sprout to massive in the course of a few short months. Cannabis does the same, and we appreciate her gifts as we look to planning our strains for the season to come.  

      As we reach the end of this season of CSA together, I would like to thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter, and for preparing this food for yourself and your loved ones.  It is a joy to share the journey with you, as we imagine a 21st century food system that is built around decentralized food production systems.