We did it! We packed our last CSA boxes of 2018. Our 30-week season of growing, harvesting, and delivering 70 boxes of vegetables to our members is complete. It’s a relief to have made it because it was an especially challenging year. With the two hurricanes and excessive rain this fall, we wondered if there’d be enough food to fill all the boxes. Somehow, there was just enough. It’s bittersweet to take a break from harvesting. We’ll miss the rhythm of the weekly harvests and deliveries, but we need the winter to move the farm, plan for next year, and, hopefully, rest.
The end of the CSA season is even more significant this year; it’s also the end of our time on the land we’ve been leasing. We’ve dug the last carrots and turnips from a field that we’ve come to know so well these past three years. The next time we dig carrots will be on our new farm in the spring. The fact that we found land to buy this year remains completely and utterly astonishing.
It’s also the end of this weekly series. No more early-morning, sleepy-eyed writing sessions where I try to imagine what on earth you want to know about our lives as farmers in North Carolina. I’ll miss the chance to ponder the big and little questions of choosing this life. Thank you, dear reader, for following along. If you dream of farming, even in the most casual way, please take this as my most heartfelt words of encouragement:
You’ve probably noticed that a lot of my posts have been about how our line of work comes with a lot of work and worry. It’s true. We worry about how to get access to land and how to make a living. We worry about rain and droughts and climate change. Our work does not fit tidily within a nine-to-five schedule, and there’s no such thing as paid vacation. Despite all this, we never worry about why we’re farming. We’re not plagued by deep existential questions about our purpose, or about how we should be spending our days. For us, farming is full of struggles but also full of joy, and it leaves us (for the most part) very happy.
Working outside, in partnership with nature, keeps us steady and inspired. Working for ourselves and each other, in our own creative kingdom, gives us unexpected reserves of energy. Growing food for ourselves and our community gives us tremendous satisfaction and hope. At the end of the day, we eat well, and at night, we sleep deeply. When all is said and done, despite all the grumbling, we’d rather be farming.