June 12, 2018

Harvest time is starting to gather steam as temperatures are really starting to warm up.  We are harvesting pallet loads of cilantro, fennel, radicchio, dill, lettuce, spinach and dandelion greens for our wholesale accounts with an even more diverse list of crops for our local retail and wholesale accounts. We are happy to see things finally warming up to the point where we are on the cusp of summertime abundance. It’s hard to believe we are less than 2 weeks away from the summer solstice!
 
We have what is likely our full crew both in the field and at the markets. The larger labor issues facing agriculture have become obvious to us.  We simply aren’t getting any new and qualified field workers coming by looking for work. By qualified, I mean reliable, capable and skilled farm workers; people who really know the work and have the skills to make the whole process work smoothly and efficiently. So, we are doing our best to hang on to the people we have and make the workplace satisfying, interesting and most of all worth it for them. We wish we could be even more productive but this is the limiting factor we face right now. Regardless, we are staying true to our principals and standards and thank everyone for supporting us while we do so.
 
It is hard not to be concerned these days. I am not going to sugarcoat the realities facing the future of food. It is something that is invisible to most because of our dependence on supermarkets to supply us with an abundance of everything at any time of the year. We may not be noticing it but California’s fresh food production, as we’ve known it, is in a slow motion collapse and moving elsewhere. There aren’t enough people and there isn’t the financial viability to keep it going without some kind of reset.
 
The vast majority of people have over the last 100 years, disconnected from our agricultural roots.  This is a choice made, whether consciously or unconsciously, as a result of technology moving us towards convenience and alternate priorities. Our roots, which include the people who do the hard work producing food, being slowly but surely pushed out of the way of “progress”.
 
Some have said that the real purpose of farming is to feed our humanity. It is after all the foundation for our civilization and it has also enabled us to go beyond just providing food. It has enabled us to pursue a much more diverse culture and it has given us time to innovate and create. But what happens when we stop using agriculture for that purpose? What happens to our humanity when we disconnect from that source?
 
Thank you to those who know the answer and in response, are providing hope to forge new paths towards in a much more humane world. There are still creators and innovators that see agricultural diversity as an important part of our world. There is hope and every yearly spring the cycle reminds us of that hope if we just pay attention.