The first of our plants are awakening from their seeded slumber. It is such an incredible and life-affirming process to experience–to see the first of the pack stick its head out of the soil and then notice how many others follow suit within hours. I imagine this will continue to be an exciting moment each winter, as Regenerative Roots ages as a farm and Dennis & I as its stewards, but this season it is particularly special. This first seedling represents the fact that we are really doing it–gathering and reflecting on all the things we have learned over the years–and starting our own farm. I have found that this time of year leaves a little too much time for reflection, for self-doubt, for fear of starting something new. Somehow, though, this first onion popping out of the soil helps to confirm my confidence in the fact that this is where I want to be.
Soon enough, many different seedlings will be popping out from their trays, we’ll be firing up the greenhouse, and the farm will be headed towards its full swing. I feel incredibly lucky to have the farming experiences I’ve had elsewhere, leading me to this point, developing mentors in past employers and friends alike. Southern Wisconsin is an incredible place to farm organically. Not only because the soils are fertile, but because the community of growers nurtures a cooperative spirit–sharing resources, ideas, and tools. As we go forth with our first season, I feel supported by many experienced CSA farmers who would be willing to take a moment and answer most questions I have. I don’t know if many other new business owners feel that way amongst their peers. The support for young farmers, both regionally and nationally, is growing as well.
So this season will be one of many firsts for us and some of those might not come as easily as the first onion popped from the soil. I do hope that it is equally life-affirming, though. Just like the life cycle of the onion plant, our season will most likely ebb and flow… with a graceful beginning, head towards a busy length of growth–peppered with periods of rains and drought, invest in bountiful fruit to be harvested, eaten, and the remainder of the plant to be incorporated into the soil for the next season. I hope that this time next year will find me similarly reflective, but with more confidence in what it takes to orchestrate our own farm, be an educational space for our community, and feel a sense of balance in my life.
We are excited to announce that we are halfway towards our membership goal of thirty shares this season. This seems like an impressive feat since we are new to the area and there is still snow on the ground! We are hoping that the spring-like weather in the coming weeks will inspire folks to think local for their food choices this season. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you have about our farm and pass along our information to your neighbors. Here’s to many healthy happy folks (and plants) in our community! –Anne, March 5th, 2012