November 22, 2016
What is in the VEGGIE BOX? Radishes, Salad Mix, Tatsai, Sugar Pie Pumpkin, Chard, Rosemary, Escarole & Beets
What is in the FRUIT BOX? Mandarin Oranges, Mixed Dried Fruit and Lemons
Holiday Wreath Class at Good Humus
Saturday December 3 at 10am
Includes a farm fresh lunch and a farm tour
Holiday Wreath Class at Seka Hills
Sunday December 4 from 11pm-3pm
Contact: Sekahills.com 530-796-2810
Bits and Beverages during the class
A fun way to start the Holiday Season
This Week on the Farm
November 22, 1963. I am of an age that that date will always cause a startle. I was in my 5th grade classroom that morning. I don’t remember them, but I am sure that we had practiced our fire evacuation drill and our atomic bomb alert drill that month. I would walk home each day through the piled up mountains of yanked out peach orchards and irrigation valves that would never be used again. All just being removed to create room for the new homes going up as fast as the land could be bought. In the fertile Santa Clara and San Ramon Valleys the fields that were to become the same vast suburbs were being graded and leveled. As we passed by them each month on the way to my Grandmother’s home and my Dad’s boyhood home, the streets and houses just grew like magic. Eventually, this tide would engulf the sweet smells and hidden playspaces of a hundred years of life in my family’s ancestral home and it would be torn down to be replaced by apartments and tennis courts. That was all part of my life right around November 22, 1963. The announcement came over the school loudspeaker in the classroom, the same “PA System” that the principal used to begin the day for us with the Pledge of Allegiance. “The President has been shot”. A girl I knew burst into tears, but most of us were just quiet. We all knew of the President and his wife and kids, and all the stories of the life they lived. Football games, big extended family, family war heroes both alive and dead, and perfect dinner parties, charming the leaders of the world, a perfect story for a strong, independent and ethical America. Somehow, I don’t know how, we felt the change. They sent everyone home that day. I think in those days of J Edgar Hoover, only a few years removed from Joe McCarthy, everyone feared a Russian conspiracy to take over the United States of America, and all the parents wanted their children home. The lady and her husband down a few houses that had a bomb shelter in their backyard were probably feeling really safe, but the rest of us watched the TV and wondered what might happen.
That is it. Pretty much the end of my memories of that day. But it was the start of something big in my life. That day I saw the world isn’t always pretty, and that bad things happen, even to good people. Five years later at the age of 18, I realized the leaders of my country were not always right, not always ethical, and could fight a war anyway. At age 22, I realized not everyone would agree with me, not everyone would like me and that wouldn’t change. Now over the years, it has come to me that there is a massive expanse of people in the world, each with their own story way of coping, and acting the way they do not to be good or bad but because that is all they can do right now. And somehow, there is a net effect of all 7 billion of us, each acting separately and in groups that is determined by each of our yesterdays and that determine our tomorrows. And because we are a natural phenomenon, each day’s experience acts on us and we evolve. And beyond that realization, I come to the place of faith and belief in a certain future, because where we are going with all of this is so unknown, even to our best brains.
At Good Humus, this week, there is a project that has been evolving both us and itself day in and day out for the last 15 years. 15 years ago, we saw our friends at Live Power Farm protect their farm, their work, and their environment legally into perpetuity. With the help of Equity Community Land Trust in Massachusetts, they became the first farm in California to apply the principles of protecting the life of the farm, the life of the farm family and the life of the community through future generations. With all the good will in the world, and with our own desire to see our farm continue to mature In service to its community, we began to fashion an easement that would protect our farm, protect all future farmers of this land, and protect a resource for the food system of our community. 15 years ago we looked on it as a way protect the work of which we were so proud and to present the community with a perpetual resource for producing their food. Today, 15 years later, that easement has been written, and the same Equity Community Land Trust that helped our friends has agreed to hold our easement. Along the way over those 15 years many of you that are still reading this helped our fundraising organization with your donations to raise the money necessary to purchase the easement, and a much smaller group provided the energy, the ideas, the perseverance to get us here today. I don’t mind saying that to get to this point it has taken all the energy, faith, and stamina we could muster. In the spirit of the times that we have lived through and continue to live in, this project has attracted both the best in people willing to dedicate their lives to a principle, and the worst in people standing in fear of the unknown future and their own fate. It has its strong advocates in all of you that support the growth of a strong and stable local food system built to last. And it has its detractors in those that fear a strong regional agrarian and environmental ethic, fear a strong regional populace independent of absolute reliance on outside products and manufactured needs, fear any challenge to their own plans for a grand future.
All these present the challenges that we have had to work with over the last 15 years, and the strength of these continue unabated. There are several hurdles to pass before the project is truly born and in place in the real world, but today Equity Trust has moved the ball forward another yard for us. In accepting the majority text of the Easement, in accepting our request to carry this easement, they have done a magnificent service to all of us that are dedicated to local, stable, independent food production and distribution. In providing a permanent home for this easement they have brightened the light at the end of the tunnel that just a few days ago seemed so far away. I encourage anyone to look them up and let them know how much you appreciate them stepping away from their own good regional work, to step beyond their comfort zone, and help all of us work toward our goals.
I know that this is not what you look for in the newsletter, but underneath all those years of day to day experiences on the farm, the growth and decay, the success and failure, the illumination and the obscuring of the processes we rely on, this project has moved forward. The preserving of a living farm for the future of our community has been as much a part of our thoughts as the passing of the seasons and the cycles of our lives. To report to you this moment of success is one of the real pleasures of the process. See you next week, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families where ever they are.