Spring Forth and Be Kale-ful

Counting down to seeds in the ground

lacinato kale on the winter solstice, 2021

The cyclical and predictable farm season with its schedules and patterns is something that never ceases to comfort me.

I’m an obsessive planner. My desk in January is always cluttere
d with a calendar, a planner, printed copies of the crop plan, seed catalogues, and various printed copies of records kept from the previous season. I toggle back and forth between the excel spreadsheet on the computer, a word document that is a “map” of the farm, and my own paper copies with handwritten notes in pencil that I take with me to the farm every day.

This winter has been unprecedented in terms of my abili

ty to really soak up the planning time: for the first time since I started working on farms in 2006, I don’t have to juggle a part-time job on top of the tasks of resting and planning. Yep – this year I’m joining the privileged minority of folks who farm full time, without having to run harried to squeeze in their off-farm income job that pays all of the bills. In case you were wondering: no I never stop pinching myself to see if I’m dreaming.

It is surreal to land here in this moment as I celebrate the 10th anniversary of putting the first plants into the ground at our plot in northeast DC. There were roller coaster moments and plenty of times when I thought I wouldn’t make it, when I questioned my career choice, when I cried because working hard was never going to be enough.

I’m eternally grateful to the CSA members and sustainers, staff and workshares, partner, friends, roommates, and neighbors.

Renewal time reminds me of how important this experience is for you and your family, and I appreciate the notes, cards, emails, text messages oohing and ahhing over the memories of eating kale that was harvested less than 12 hours before you put it on the dinner table. It’s a magical thing that we can all share.

The clock is ticking to sign up for the CSA (return members by Feb 28, waitlist spots open up on Mar 1) as well as apply to work at the farm this year or claim one of the few work exchange spots. Please see below. Let me know if you have questions.

Gail