1 year ago…

It’s been nearly exactly a year since we decided to get serious about farming.  Of course we’d been building up to it for some time, but it was this time last year that we were preparing for the Growing Farms workshop series offered through the OSU Extension Service and decided we didn’t want to walk into the class without a project of some kind.  And so the class was the catalyst and we quickly searched for some land, rented the acre in Stayton, and set our expectations low.

As we’ve been planning and preparing for the upcoming growing season, there’s been an inclination to get bigger, to be better.  We can easily point out our shortcomings and make lists of desires for this new year.  We want to use our space more wisely, plan for more successions of some crops, use our time more efficiently.   And there are the infrastructure improvements we’d like to make.  Should we buy a tractor, should we buy a van, should we build a new cooler?  More greenhouse space would be nice too.  The overarching desire is to one day have our own farm and the infrastructure to go with it.

But in retrospect, as we pass this one year milestone, I’m a little daunted by where we were personally and as a farm, just a year ago.  Personally we were struggling with our day jobs, knowing they weren’t the healthiest fit for us.  And the farm, well that didn’t even really exist yet.  A year later we’re moving into our second growing season with a fairly successful market season behind us.  We’re planning for a knock-out CSA program.  We’re working on our organic certification.  Jeff is a full-time farmer, working for a local farm and for our farm.  I guess what I’m getting at is, it’s easy for us to wish things were bigger, better, faster, but it’s still impressive to me what we’ve accomplished this past year.

Many of you know that the Salem Saturday Market 2010 season starts next week.  Although we won’t be making an appearance quite yet, we hope to have veggies to share with you by mid-May.  As the Market begins again we hope you’ll make it a priority to seek out local vegetables and support your local farmers.  As we’ve said before, we couldn’t do this without you!

Your Farmers,

Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

Pitchfork & Crow