The Winter Solstice. A time to turn inwards. The season for dreaming, healing, and sleeping in. For the Folks we have significantly slowed down. Instead dashing out the door before sunrise sloshing a mug of coffee while the windshield defrosts the mornings are slow. I often bike out to the farms, getting exercise and enjoying the sunshine. Plant energy, earth energy, is residing deeper in the soil. A stage of dormancy as our northern latitude no longer provides the necessary sunshine for growth. The dream phase of the farming calendar.
With less urgency I am able to heal from the past year. Much to reflect on and much to let go. We can’t afford to carry old anxiety to our winter beds. Instead, I focus on the truth that remains. Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote the heart only holds onto the good memories otherwise how could it continue? The dream phase allows the heart freedom to speak and through practice I am learning to listen. Scale back, dive deeper, open up our farm to the community; is what my says and I am done fighting it.
On a more practical note we are still moving vegetables. Our Fall/Winter CSA has been eating through our cooler and greenhouse. It has been a joy to feel the enjoyment a bounty of winter food can bring to our CSA members. The last bits of 2021 sunlight entering the soul to nourish through these winter months. We are still delivering to a couple restaurants weekly. Little on Mountain gets their greens and squash, you’ve got to try the pumpkin soup, and Somebody People eats through spaghetti squash. When we harvested our squash crop months ago it filled every nook and cranny of the barn. Now we are halfway through moving it. Once floor to ceiling boxes, we can see over the top and like all good things there is an end in sight.
Through the support of the land owners we have begun working on next year’s wash station. The 30 plus year feed shed once home to dairy cows is being opened up to make room for a streamlined wash/pack area. We are demolishing carefully, leaving as much of the building intact as possible to prevent structural failure. I am imaging everything on wheels, clear stations for different processes, and accessible water sources on top of a concrete floor.
Pictures left to right: Our current wash station, what will be a concrete floor wash area, day 1 progress removing the front
There are changes afoot in our local farming community as well. Our friends Ben and Carolyn of Raisin’ Roots Farm are officially moving eastward, continuing their farming journey on family land in upstate New York. They have been integral parts of Larimer County agriculture for many years. Not just talkers but do-ers, they have worked to create legislature on a state level to help small farms use roadside stands to sell produce. Their community-oriented action will be missed. The farm will continue under new ownership. Our friend Ryan Ericson will be manning the helm as our seasonal clock turns into 2022. It is truly awesome to see this continuity and we want nothing but the best for all these young farmers!
Our friend, Hayden Christensen, owner at Colorado Fresh Farms is also moving away this next year pursuing opportunities closer to family in Southern Colorado. Since we started in 2019 Hayden has become a great asset for Folks Farm. His experience, unique perspectives, and genuine support of other farms has shaped much of our farming. I am personally super grateful for all he has taught me in agriculture. Luckily he won’t be too far from cell service and we can still frantically text each other as farm equipment auctions bid and growing issues arise.
As we enter deeper into solstice I pray you can find time for peaceful reflection. The past fews years have tested everyone and not been easy. My heart goes out to you and hopefully you can find the time to heal, be with loved ones, and rest in preparation for the sun’s rise next season. And now can we get some snow?