Greentree Naturals Newsletter - Spring 2005
I am overdue for an update for Greentree Naturals. As I have said before, having a website is something that we are happy to have, but simply have not managed to find a way of staying on top of what traditionally comes with having a website. For one thing, I will be the first to confess to my inadequacy or ability to do the updates myself. I have the desire to learn how to do this, but not the time to endure the learning curve. Be that as it may, I will persevere to find my way into the world wide web to share a glimmer of what goes on at our farm. James Taylor has a line in one of his songs "Money can't buy you time, and time can't buy you money." Thank you for your continued patience!
When I read the past couple of newsletters about spring, I can say that there is certainly consistency in my life! Spring always brings the initial process of planning out the gardening season, planting seeds and tending thousands of seedlings that will eventually find their way into our gardens. After so many years of being small acreage farmers, we are able to move through what needs to be done almost on autopilot.
The other day I sat down with my monthly planner and figured out what dates we would have the Organic Gardening series of workshops this summer. Once I figured out these dates, (which are every other Monday), I could then schedule around the workshops to schedule dates for the Sunday Brunch, (which is every other Sunday), on the farm. By the time I was finished, my entire summer lies before me on the calendar as an outline of what shall be. I will be working on a separate page for the website to tell you details of the Sunday Brunch event, so look for it.
I recall years ago giving my brother Govinda a hard time about the fact that he couldn't plan anything without having his monthly planner in front of him. Now that I am self-employed, I understand and accept the need fpr planning and scheduling months in advance. Trust me, this is the only way we can do all of the things that we do on our farm! Our motto, after all, is "do as much as you can and then do some more!"
When I was working with the USFS as an employer, it was pretty easy compared to what I am doing now. I had sick leave and annual leave, and got paid no matter what as long as I came and did the work. The only thing I miss about the USFS is that annual and sick leave. We don't have the leave being self-employed, but then, we rarely get sick. I heard a program on NPR last year that noted how self-employed people had a smaller percent of illness because simply, they couldn't take the time for it! It makes since to me.
If you read the 2004 Newsletter before finding your way here, you know that we faced some emotional challenges last year. My father passed away in July. I was thankful to have been able to spend time with him when I could. I am amazed when I look back over the past year and so thankful that it is all behind us. My Dad died on a Thursday, I had a farmers market on Saturday, a Sunday Brunch on Sunday, and flew out on Monday. I was back in Oklahoma for ten days; returned on a Friday, had Saturday farmers market, and back into another Sunday Brunch.
It goes back to that self-employed thing. It was stressful, challenging and frustrating, but you do what you have to do. It's not like I could just not sell the produce, or turn our pre-paid customers away from the Brunches. I just put the grieving on hold and did what needed to be done. Thank God for our three wonderful apprentices! They stepped up and helped us when we needed help the most.
When winter came, I took a deep breath, and let the grieving process begin. Meanwhile, Thom's Mom passed away at the age of 93. So now, we find ourselves orphans and adjusting to life without parents. You just live through it.
Looking back at 2004, all I can say is I am happy to have all of it behind us! We are looking forward to another summer of on-farm workshops and events. We figure that if we could do all that we accomplished last year when we were under so much stress related to our parents passing, then this year should be a breeze! Wish us luck.
Check out the new page that talks about our Sunday Brunch on the farm. It was a huge success! We will definitely be doing this again this summer. We hosted our third annual organic wine tasting, and will most certainly be having our fourth annual. While sometimes having people we don't know walking into our lives on the farm is challenging, we are happy to educate and share our perspectives. We have many conversations about the importance of creating a local community food system and supporting your local farmer.
I believe that now, more than ever before, the future and health of our nation will depend on the small acreage farmers. The closer to home your food source is, the fresher it is. Fresher means higher nutrition and better for you! I would rather eat a strawberry that was harvested for its sweetness than for its ability to ship long distance. And, most of the small acreage farmers that I know of are growing using sustainable means or are certified organic, like we are.
So, what I would like to close this newsletter with is to encourage you to buy local. Go to your farmers market during the growing season and support your local farmers! If you don't know of a farmers market, ask your extension agent or go online and search for farmers markets near you!