Watch as Farmers Grow

Winter Thoughts

January 23rd, 2023 | Posted by miker in Musings from the Field

Outside the rain has been pouring down, and every farm task is muddy, wet and kinda grey.

One positive reflection is the NOFA NJ Organic Winter Conference is all lined up and sold out. We’ve put a lot into providing scholarships, to remove cost as a limiting factor, and the schedule of workshops is solid. Now we have to find a way to host more people! We’ll need a bigger space, but getting bigger requires more support. The NJ organic movement still hasn’t made it onto large corporate or even healthcare agendas, so we still are a small voice, our desires for soil, farm and community health still unheard by most, while small but meaningful connections remain the strength that keeps us going.

The USDA has heard us though, and the money to support ecological focused farming is starting to get through the gauntlet of pretenders and naysayers. There is a regional grant to promote Transitions to Organic Practices that NOFANJ is a partner organization to. We will use the Grant Supporting Funds to boost Farmer to Farmer Mentoring programs, like our Journey Person Program, focusing on helping farmers get certified Organic and benefit from the long term commitment to ecological focused farming that represents.

On the home farm front, we are trialing seed germination on Lisianthus, and other tricky crops, continuing to apply for a local Cannabis Cultivation permit, tending to some frost heaved Hazelnut Seedlings and winter chicken care, and cutting up the endless Ash borer killed trees that are falling on fences and threatening structures. Our annual Organic Certification application is submitted, we need to get our NJDA Hemp Program application filed for 2023, file taxes, and get as much administration done as possible before the weather improves, when I’ll find it hard to sit down again.

Listening to the news it appears that being focused on local production of healthy food and valuable crops remains important as ever. Arrogant individuals exemplified by the Murderer Putin, and lying politicians closer to home, leave me certain that the pressing crises of Poverty and Refugees and world climatic tragedies will be untended. We are going to face increasing demands on decreasing resources and locally viable communities will be the last bastions of sanity and security. What happens close to home, how we handle disagreements and protect each others freedoms, how we provide for our needs, producing food, tending valuable resources and remembering those less fortunate than ourselves, will define us.

I am grateful for the incredible luck that has brought me to this time and place, I am invested in trying to make good choices about my impact on the earth and my communities health, and I know that for the most part, all humans want the world to be a safe and healthy place, if for no other reason than to have it be safe for their families and friends. Putin will eventually be brought down, kids will get better than us at navigating social media hype, and clarity of purpose will reassert itself, as scarcity and challenges sort out the next decades. Thank you to the Great Spirit for life on Earth, to teachers and mentors for guidance, to friends and family for joy and purpose, and the endless list of things to do for opportunity.

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