“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Hi Friends and Farm-ily,

Ohhh October…. how we love you so!  Here we grow Week 22 which means we have 6 more weeks to go in our main season Spring/Summer CSA!  As a reminder to all our wonderful CSA-ers: the last CSA pick ups will be November 17th, 18th, 19th and on that week, our Weekly CSA Members will receive a double share (shares 27 & 28) to better prepare you for the Thanksgiving holiday.   ALL Bi-Weekly Share members will pick up on that week as well (either Share 27 or 28 depending on your assigned weeks)!


a few pictures from the first time that Brian and I met…

October is one of my favorite months.  Growing up a New England gal Fall was always my favorite season and October’s rich colors, shorter days and cooler nights have always inspired me.  With all the inspiration that October brings, it’s no surprise to me that Brian and I met in early October (4 years ago) for the first time.    At the end of last week we were reminiscing about when we first met and marveled at how fast time goes by, how much we’ve grown and all the things (big and small) that we’ve accomplished together in the past 4 years.  It makes me smile to think about it … since the beginning it was full of magic and possibility.

It was farming that brought us together in the first place.. followed by the coincidences and connections that still give me goosebumps!  As young farmers, we both had a vision and shared similar goals of feeding our community and when we came together we were able to share that vision in the best way possible.  Two farmers on the opposite ends of the country, living parallel lives.  At the time I was farming back east as Powers Flowers & Produce while Brian was farming the soil in Oregon as Working Hands Farm.  We met in the only way two farmers can meet (who’s got time for anything other than farming?) and that was following each other’s farm blogs online.  Letters were exchanged and as time went by we rebelled against the 3 hour time difference and made time for phone conversations.  A while later a hurricane completely wiped out my farming season back east and so I bought a one way plane ticket to Oregon to meet this Farmboy and help him finish out his season.  A few weeks later Brian was offered a contract in Uganda to design and build sustainable cookstoves for vanilla bean farmers over the winter.  His “past life” as he describes it.. working as a humanitarian before his farming days and throughout the winter months in the first few years of farming… those years brought him to Uganda for almost 2 years, Argentina, India and Haiti.  He said that he didn’t have much interest in returning to Uganda.. only if I wanted to go because he could show me that country like nobody else could.  I, of course, said yes, (I was learning how to jump) and Brian likes to tell people that was our “first date” …it truly was just the beginning of this lifetime of adventure..


Demoing the stove project in the village, a “you shall not pass” moment with a bull elephant and working on a few stove prototypes…


While in Africa we even got our first taste of really farming together.  A 3 week work trip ended up becoming a 3 month long trip.   The self made Ugandan man we were working for was really inspired and intrigued that we were both young, organic farmers.  He had a 5 acre parcel nestled in the forest that he offered to us to start an organic farm on.  With an amazing group of 8 young Ugandan women and men we cleared a fallow field with nothing but homemade pickaxes and hoes.  Trees, stumps, 10ft tall clay ant hills.. all had to go.  There were so many obstacles to overcome unlike farming here where so many things are at your disposal (where to get seed, building infrastructure, irrigation… etc).  We became the ultimate team and got things done with help from our trusty home away from home – an 1980’s land rover defender.  Despite the craziness of the World around us we made it work and we had a blast doing it.  Half way through our time there (after finally locating some vegetable seeds on the black market!) we were able to plant our first crops and started to see things come to fruition.  As well as seeing the stove project through with success.  We figured if we were able to accomplish all we did that winter that we could accomplish just about anything no matter where we were.


Our sister farm in chambogo, hand dug beds and getting our first crops in the ground!  

Since that October we’ve been steadily moving ahead.  As a farm, as a couple and as individuals….

4 years after meeting this farm boy, I can say with much confidence that Brian has taught me more about myself than anyone else and I’m so happy that the universe brought us together when it did.  I am constantly in awe of how easy it is for him to try something new (to jump “all in”) and his ability to empathize and be an amazing listener.  He knows himself so well and that confidence has reminded me that if you trust yourself anything is possible.  His moral fortitude, intelligence and strong nature make him a natural born leader… one that I would stand next to in any situation.  He is a person that gives me strength – he constantly reminds me of how wonderful, hardworking and smart he thinks I am.  That I am strong and capable of doing all the things I want to do.   I knew from the start that there was something special about Brian.  And as the years unfold, and we continue on this adventure together I have never felt more sure about anything… as we grow food for our community (of all ages), make our little corner of the World better with time and grow to be better farmers and people… I know no matter what life and nature may bring that we will continue to seek out all the possibilities that this life has to offer and to always do our best.  To practice patience, understanding, respect.  “To adventure, We ride” – as we always say.  And to endless possibilities…


Helping Farmer Brian wrap up his 2011 farming season…

I do hope that someday, maybe soon, Brian and I will be able to venture off this farm together and get a few days to think, breathe etc something other than the farm.  It’s been more than 2 years since we’ve both been able to leave the farm for longer than 12 hours together.  It sounds kind of crazy – I know – but with large bovine, it sure does make it harder to leave.  This season more than any other we’ve learned about the old proverb, “necessity is the mother of all invention” and I know that without a doubt we will find a way to grow better with time – even if that means just taking some time to do a few other things than farming.

For now, we will continue to enjoy this beautiful October.. those chilly mornings and warmer days, the changing colors of the leaves and shorter days… the month that allows for more opportunities to check in, take care, be inspired, to sleep and reinvigorate.


This smile might be one of the best parts about farming..

Thank you, Farmer Brian for believing in the magic and mystery of nature as well as all the handwork and for helping me to jump when I need it most.   I love when this time of the year rolls around because for me, October will always be ‘our month.’

Enjoy the week and the bounty!

Our best to you all,

Your Farmers

Jess & Brian

dirty hands, clean hearts