For the month of July we were farmers. We woke up at 5:30am, worked 10-hour days, were surrounded by beauty, and ate the best produce of our lives.
As most of you know, we want to start a farm. Working on Green Fire Organic Farm in Hoopa, CA, gave us the opportunity to learn, and also to make sure we really wanted to have our own farm.
Indeed, we do still want to have our own farm after this experience at Green Fire. I especially am excited about the prospect. As previously planned, Mags will work part-time on the farm as she concentrates on her physical therapy practice and healing cooperative.
I find farm work to be quite fulfilling. Sometimes people struggle to convince ourselves that the work we do is actually useful. When farming, there is no question that your work is necessary. Beyond necessity, at Green Fire Farm there is an incredible amount of pride in the produce that tastes great, is all organic, and looks beautiful, too.
Besides daily being surrounded by the beauty and tranquility of the farm, we also got the opportunity to explore surrounding nature. Just a short two-minute walk from the farm was a great swimming hole on the Trinity River.
We also made it out to the ocean, and a couple of hikes.
Green Fire Farm always has a lot of young people working there. We were at Green Fire through a program called Willful Workers On Organic Farms (WWOOF). We got to work with some other WWOOFers and farm interns: Aaron, Caroline, Dan, Heather, Vanessa, and Veronica. We also met people from the area, including Sarah and Garrett, who were working at nearby Neukom Family Farm.
The owner of the farm, Grady, was an excellent WWOOFing host. He has a couple of decades of farming experience, not to mention a background in botany. He was a great resource to learn from, and a great guy to talk to, as well. We were fortunate in that he expressed his appreciation for the work that we were doing, and was interested in any concerns that we had.
Besides learning directly from Grady, we also learned so much just by doing. Many of the things we learned were basic farming techniques: things like trellising (to help plants like tomatoes grow straight up), cultivating, and harvesting. Working on the farm also made me think a lot of the economics of the whole operation, and gave me a better idea of things that I would want to grow and market, ecosystem willing.
The food really was amazing. We shared lunches every work day with everyone working on the farm, and sometimes guests as well. Almost all the food we ate came entirely from the farm. Such amazingly sweet, fresh and perfectly ready to eat fruits, vegetables, and herbs for every meal.
We were also quite appreciative of the animals who produced food for us. Every morning we ate eggs from the hens on the farm for breakfast. And neighbors Roy and Janine gifted the farm with amazing honey.
Working for a month at Green Fire was a great experience. But the whole time we were thinking about our own ambitions as well. We are excited about having our own land and making our dreams a reality.