Heart in a Box – Reprise: Week #20 – 10/20/21
While we are all still very much in harvest mode at the farm, we find ourselves here at the last week of the summer season. It’s hard not to reflect on season #17.
Of all the seasons Mike and I have operated this farm together, I am most proud of this one. I feel pride in 3 different dimensions, and I’d love to share all of those with you.
First, I am so proud of how many families we fed for free this season; and by ‘we’ I mean everyone who is part of Crossroads Community Farm. Mike, myself, and the crew – we grew, harvested, and packed 2000 boxes of fresh, free food to families in need. And you, the members of Crossroads, donated nearly $25,000 that went a long way towards financially supporting this effort. Together as a community of growers and eaters, we did a small part in trying to realize the dream of everyone having access to healthy, local food. The donated boxes were home delivered to families in the Meadowood Neighborhood at the beginning of the summer. When logistical constraints came into play, Badger Prairie Needs Network distributed boxes and folks from Healthy Food for All distributed shares directly to Madison’s Triangle Neighborhood as well as the Darbo Neighborhood. Folks began to recognize Joe’s white van and approach it directly to ask if there were veggie boxes inside. Over and over people expressed their joy in the beautiful, fresh vegetables they were receiving. One elderly man actually cried when he opened a box containing our tomatoes – he hadn’t had a real, fresh tomato since he was a child.
Second, I’m also quite proud of the community we all created here at the farm this summer. Friday night we hosted a crew party and there was just so much joy, laughter, and connectedness. The crew themselves is largely responsible for this, but as the farm crew manager, I know I had played a part in creating the work environment that allowed these positive relationships to develop. I’m also tremendously proud of the safe queer space our farm allows. I came out a year and half ago, and ever since, our crew has steadily become more and more queer (about 60% this year). Word has spread through the queer community that this is a safe, welcoming place to work. I’m simultaneously proud and so so grateful for this.
Finally, I’m proud of Mike and I. This is our first full season farming together as divorced business partners. It’s been quite a journey. Today we are finishing planting our garlic for the 2022 season. Planting garlic is like a contract we begin for the following season, a representation of our commitment to grow again for another year. I’m particularly proud to be planting garlic alongside Mike in preparation for another growing season. Working together isn’t always easy, but we continue to evolve together. Our hearts have learned to allow our relationship to expand and contract and take on different dimensions and directions. I’m so proud of him. I’m so proud of me. I’m so proud of us.
Thank you so much for being a part of the journey that is family farming. We so appreciate your support of our family and crew. Thank you for a wonderful 2021 season.