It is hard to believe that I’m writing this on August 2nd! Where on earth has the season gone? It feels like just the other day we were sticking broccoli and cabbage starts in the field and contemplating starting a fire in the fire pit. Now we’re sticking broccoli and cabbage starts in the field and contemplating jumping in the creek! These next 12 weeks are going to fly by and we are doing our best to cherish every moment we have growing produce for those in our community. (...)
Life in our little household has taken quite a turn. Just like the field undergoes slow but dramatic changes throughout the season so has our little family. Athena has taken a job with a home health nursing company that serves all of Haywood County. She has thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her team, her patients, and the beautiful county of Haywood. She is passionate about nursing on a personal level, away from the hospital and meeting people where they are, both physically and emotionally. She is only working part time but puts in almost enough hours to be considered full time. With two rambunctious little girls at home I have refocused a large chunk of my time and energy to being a stay at home dad. Thankfully this could not have come at a better time. WIth the way we planned our farm summer was going to be the most hands off part of the season. So we have managed to adjust and find a new rhythm for our home. I harvest early in the mornings, getting to the farm and back home before the girls ever wake up. Then Athena goes and visits patients while I treat my girls to zucchini bread baking and pool time and they treat me to stories and constant smiles. Then of course comes the crying, the arguing, the sleeplessness, and general craziness that comes with parenthood. This also makes every day that I have on the farm precious and essential. We are always praying that rain comes on days I am already home instead of one of the crucial days I need to be on the farm. Just as we have depended on our work trade folks, they have been essential in this new season. We would not be able to fill our CSA bags without their loving help. We have been blown away by the dedication and hard work they have put into the field.
It’s hard to believe that we are already planning for next year’s season. For us it will be a season unlike any other. When Covid-19 turned our world upside down, so many events and programs were forced to abandon face to face interaction for the safer alternative of being online. We learned that the Organic Grower School’s Farm Beginnings program would be taught entirely online for the 2021 school year. This program is a year long school to help young farmers with two years of experience hit the ground running with their own business. They help with vision clarification, taxes and business, financing, growing, harvesting, storage, etc. It is taught by farmers in the area and has helped many new farmers become established members in the community. With a busy schedule and two young girls, going to school seemed like a monumental task. The idea of it all being online makes the idea seem a bit more obtainable. But what to do with the field? Could we really farm with two young girls, a part time nursing job, and myself going to school? After much deliberation, discussion, and waiting we decided that it would be best for our long term future to take the 2021 growing season off and focus entirely on learning the business aspect of farming as well as saving as much as we could to find our own land and start putting down roots of our own. It will be very hard to take a season off but we know it’ll be for the best in the long run. Adaline will be 6 at the start of our next season and Josaphine will have turned 2. Serving everyone in our community, from CSA’s to market has been one of highlights of my 32 years here on earth and I look forward to the rest of the season. I hope this experience has been as equally rewarding for everyone we have served and I would encourage everyone to stay involved in the local agriculture. Local farmers need our support and your dollars make so much of a difference for your neighbor than they do for some big grocery store. We have been deeply moved by your support and encouragement throughout this season. We will carry this year with us the rest of our lives. You have all made a difference in our lives and will never be forgotten.
Kyle and Athena
Welcome to our Farmstead Journal. We warmly invite you to read along as we share our journey as we learn and grow more authentic is our care and honor of the earth and all our fellow inhabitants, as we pursue our search for our own land and explore the meaning of homesteading and growing within plant-based/"veganic" principles. We seek deep authenticity, true peace, sanctuary for all and simplicity as our continual journey of learning and growing as a family.