Farmer New Years Resolutions for 2020
As 2019 comes to a close, farmers all over are making plans, ordering seeds, and contemplating their growing seasons. 2019 had its fair share of triumphs and failures-equal measures of epiphanies and tragedies. It is this balance of win and lose--sink and swim--that makes farming so addictive. Every growing season is an opportunity to refine and hone skills, eat good food, and grow vegetables, flowers, and community alike.
We wanted to send you into 2020 with some inspired thoughts from farmers and growers just like you. With so much uncertainty in our world today, there is something very grounding about making plans in the winter that turn into action steps in spring and result in tangible harvests. Here are some wise and wonderful words from stewards of the land including some of their hopes for the coming New Year.
"To plant more seeds and watch them grow. Give people hope through planting seeds and giving back to Mother Nature. Teach children about pollinators and to have empathy for our environment. Community building and project based urban and rural agriculture, to revitalize our neighborhoods. Breaking Barriers. Just like in farming we have to overcome barriers, like losing crops, broken equipment, and sometimes even the laborious daily tasks even when we are tired or sick. I plan to apply that same mind set to how we view food and the importance of starting at the seed. More families and communities planting seeds together and creating food security as a unit to continue to promote health and wellness." -- Samantha Foxx, Mother’s Finest Urban Farm -Winston Salem, NC
"Completely converting to no-till production. We have been working on this for a couple of years now! Adhere more closely to our planting schedule." -- Bil Thorn, Sky Island Farm - Hoquiam, WA
"In the spring of 2020 I'm adding the biggest addition to our farm yet, our first baby. I'm hoping that the systems I've put in place and the people around me will help keep the farm moving forward as I take a step back for the first time in 7 years. My goal this year is to put my own personal well being before the farm." -- Leslie Prillamen, Green Gate Farm, Shepherdstown, WV
"It's our third season, and we're excited to finally turn our full attention towards soil health and employ methods that will keep life under our fields as healthy and diverse and vibrant as possible! A very tangible goal we have is to keep every inch of our fields and paths covered all of the time. We're hopeful that by fine-tuning our soil's nutrient/mineral balance and maintaining a healthy ecosystem of diverse organisms below and above ground, our plants will be more resistant to pests and diseases. A personal goal we have is to keep our body in shape during the winter months and working on the farm in a way that is sustainable for our body." -- Yoko Takemura, Assawaga Farm, Putnam, CT
"For me, I aim to embody joy in a deeper way in my work - from blending teas and fulfilling orders to feeding and weeding. I am most hopeful to dive deeper into the interrelationships of my work as a healer, birthworker, seed keeper and farmer. I am in love with the idea of always bringing my full self to this work." -- Jovan Sage, Sage’s Larder, Brunswick, Georgia
"My new years resolution (almost every year) is to continue to become better and more efficient, with cultivation and controlling weeds! I am hopeful that more people in the Metro-Atlanta area will continue to go out and seek out local and organic produce, continuing to expand the demand for what farmers in our area are growing! We are looking to scale up our restaurant sales for 2020 as many new restaurants continue to open up in Atlanta." -- Ashley Rodgers, Rodgers Greens and Roots Farm, Douglasville, GA
"I am most hopeful for in 2020 to find my future farm home. I am currently working with local land trusts and farmer to farmer land resources to make my future farm business come to life. In the meantime, I am expanding on my fiber and textile art skills and attending local and national farming conferences." -- Melony Edwards, Farmer Melony, the Pacific Northwest
"Achieve a schedule that allows for better work-life balance for myself, and the farms employees. Hopeful for rain, sun, and warmth in just the right balance! ;) Hopeful for a bountiful season with some expanding that we're doing on new land. Hoping to connect deeper with the community around our urban farm. Improve our apprenticeship program. Build a new greenhouse. Put up deer fencing. Spend more time with family. Take a long vacation!" -- Brent Hall, Freewheel Farm, Atlanta, GA
"A goal that is near and dear to my heart and to our farm's mission is to provide more food, vegetables, meat and medicine to as many in our local community as possible. I want to make healthy food accessible to as many people as I can. I farm to help nourish not only my family, but also my neighbors. A new farming season always brings with it the hopes, plans and dreams of winter. We have a few exciting new projects in the works. This year we are hoping to finally finish up our fencing and add cattle to the farm. We're also looking to expand our herbal teas, tinctures, and medicinal offerings, more than tripling what we were able to offer last season. But what I'm most hopeful about? A new season full of unwritten challenges, joys, sorrows and adventures. It's what keeps me coming back to farming time after time. Farming takes a lot of work, effort, and energy, but most of all, it takes an awful lot of time. When you live and farm on the same piece of land, learning to set boundaries between life and work can be difficult and tricky to say the least. A personal goal that I set for myself quite recently over the past year, is to try to learn and honor these boundaries. Setting aside time away from the farm, time for myself, and time for things non-farming is a work in progress. Self-care is important, but often overlooked by farmers simply because we cannot afford to take time off or away from the farm, but even if it's just a few hours a week or one full day off a week, it is important to try. When I take care of myself and take that day off I find I'm stronger and more rejuvenated to get back to farming. Obviously, this is easier said than done, but something I have been seriously working toward, because I need it to stay sane in the height of summer." -- Natalie McGill, Perennial Roots Farm, Accomac, Virginia