“You either marry into it or you inherit it.”
This cliché statement for how people get into farming and ranching has probably been as true throughout the history of mankind and agriculture as it is today. However, over the last one hundred and fifty years or so in modern western societies, we’ve seen dramatic consolidation, specialization and depopulation of the farming landscape. This is due to a myriad of socioeconomic developments, but the result is, relatively speaking, very few opportunities for marriage or inheritance into the farm business.
Imbedded in this phenomenon has been a lack of interest in pursuing farming as work or career over the last few to several generations. However, at the same time there are people passionately working their way into an agricultural lifestyle and livelihood, and this seems to be a rapidly growing number.
We, Eric and Audra, have been a part of this phenomenon in building Groundworks Farm over the last eight years. The journey has been a constant work-in-progress as we’ve strived to create work that accommodates financial, physical and emotional sustainability for our family, while also does right by our broader values. Yes, this is a tall order and, relatedly, we have decided that this will be our last year operating a weekly CSA shares program. Although details will continue to unfold, we will both be working more off-farm, but with the full intention of maintaining conscientious food production at Groundworks Farm. We also hope to contribute in other ways to positive evolution in food and farming systems for our communities. And, though we don’t know exactly how farm production will look moving forward, please continue to look for our product offerings and those of others that reflect your values.
Of course, the most important thing to communicate is: Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! You are all part of the phenomenon enabling new farmers and food economies. The primary factor that has allowed us to do this work has been sincere relationship with CSA members and other customers. We are eager to continue those relationships.
See you at the farm stand,
Eric & Audra