“Geese appear high over us,

pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,

as in love or sleep, holds

them to their way, clear,

in the ancient faith: what we need

is here. And we pray, not

for new earth or heaven, but to be

quiet in heart, and in eye

clear. What we need is here.”

– Excerpt from The Wild Geese, Wendell Berry


Reminder: CSA Member Pumpkin Pick/Farm Day is this coming weekend! Be sure to RSVP via the evite that was sent to your email. We will be sending out a “safety on the farm” email later this week!


Hi Friends & Farm-ily,


It sure feels like September came and went in a blink of an eye. October has welcome us with some fruitful rains and has made quick work of turning our summer tomatoes into goops and globs hanging on the branches of those summer lovin’ plants. Time to say goodbye to the tastes of summer and welcome the delicious possibilities of Fall. When turning on the oven no longer feels like a chore and the greens and roots and giant broccoli have their moment to really shine.

The rains of October have given us the welcome opportunity to take pause. The shorter days have lent a hand in that as well. September was a bit of a kick butt month for us. Like the peak of a marathon – we were running! With building and constructing two new high tunnels, stacking the hay in the barn, harvesting close to 4,000 lbs of produce every week, planting out the last of the Fall & all of the winter crops, preparing and flaming beds for our garlic planting, weeding acres worth of fall and winter veggies, bringing in thousands of pounds of winter squash etc


The growing season sometimes feels like a crazy whirlwind that you are swept up in. As soon as September hits you know that time is of the essence! Having the experience and several seasons under your belt you know that the days are growing shorter and that the time is now to do all the things that you need to do because at any moment the weather could change and when there’s ‘wet’ your options for being out in the garden become more limited. Surprisingly, in a time where you should just be dog tired you get a second wind. 8 months into the season and the sprint happens and somehow you have the energy to do it. Maybe because you know the slow down, the end, is on the horizon. What ever it is Brian and I always come together, rise to the occasion and get it done.

The work that we do – it just being the two of us who farm these 40 acres – it’s all we’ve ever known as the owners and farmers of Working Hands Farm. We’ve made it work for these seven years – learning a lot along the way and feeding hundreds and hundreds of families in the process.


There’s still plenty to do this month! We have the last of the crops slated to go in the ground, in the high tunnels and a few things to be seeded in the propagation house for a December plant date in the high tunnels. We need to haul out the deep bedding in the big barn for the cows to make a nice cozy and dry place for them to be in the winter months. The big clean up will commence too – removing summer crops, trellising/tposts, pulling up landscape fabric, removing and storing drip tape, seeding late cover crops, planting garlic & overwintering onions, pulling up all the irrigation & pump from the lower pastures, prepping a new block for early spring plantings etc.

I’ll also be canning up the last of our goodies to feed and nourish us through the winter months. It’s such an important part of farming for us both.. and what brought us to growing food in the first place. We always say that something just wouldn’t be right if we didn’t make the time to “stock the larder”. Our farming hearts are one part homesteader, one part business owner/farmer. I grew up in a family that grew and harvested so much of the food that we ate through the winter months. My mom was always canning and Dad was always providing the food to preserve. So it’s no surprise to me that canning is like second nature to me. In one day I can put up more than 30 quarts. Which could also be some parts necessity as the farm demands most of our attention.   Eating the food that we grow is an important part of the process, it’s not enough to just grow the food but to make time to prepare three homemade meals a day, and process the extras into what will nourish us to do this hard but good work 12 months a year is everything. That amazing food is what keeps us so healthy and productive and energetic. No way this work would be sustainable if we weren’t eating well. Eating well is at the heart of the CSA. Heck, the size of our shares is based on our own diet (eat all the veggggieeess). We are not a CSA farm that will size our shares according to what sells but will always size them according to what we believe promotes good health in our members and according to the bounty the growing conditions allows.


Brian and I both came at farming from different perspectives – he was looking for peace after years of working abroad in a stressful job and I was looking to educate his community about the food we eat & how to eat well and in season. A few years later, when our paths came together we were both on the same page. As Farmer Brian once wrote, “And that’s when Jess showed up and gave me a lickin’ you can’t believe. She taught me that you must lead by example. She taught me to fall in love not with just growing vegetables but cooking and eating them too. She taught me that cooking and eating isn’t something you do after all the other needs of the day are met it is something that you do so you can meet the needs of the day. She taught me that eating well is a matter of priorities.”

So not only was it important that our community wanted to support our farm, they also had to eat the produce, to cook more at home and to overhaul their eating habits. After one year of CSA, members who were feeling challenged by the share were now getting through the whole share no problem, they were trying new recipes & experiences, the look of their plates were changing (to ¾ veggies), some even shared good news from their doctor or had to add a smaller notch to their old belt. But perhaps the most important thing is that after one year of trying the CSA their relationship with food had forever changed or improved for the better. They were spending more time with their partner in the kitchen processing the week’s goodies, they were taking the time to plan home cooked meals through the week, they learned how to make stock with leftovers or preserve the rest. Those tasteless canned beets from their childhood were no longer the only memory they had with beets. They were creating new and exciting and pleasurable habits surrounding food and they were sharing those positive experiences with their loved ones.


As farmer Brian wrote last year, “Our goal is to see to it that the community that supports our farm eats healthier and as a result is more able, at least in a small way, to contribute to our society in a positive way. It’s a pretty high expectation you say? Well, I sure as hell am not doing this for the big bucks. It’s because I believe that the only work worth doing is work that makes the community and the environment better, so that those communities can make their communities better and so on and so forth. It’s pretty simple really.”

So, we do just that. For every seed the we sow, for every share that we harvest, for every meal that we prepare, we are all connected by this place, by the food that we eat and enjoy. All the hard work comes full circle when we see and hear how the shares are being utilized and enjoyed. One of our 4 year members wrote us a few days ago and it was too good not to share…. I don’t really bother to compare years and I’m always so happy with what you produce, but something about this year feels extra double special.  You guys are the absolute gems of Washington County.  We are so blessed to live near you and be able to enjoy your bounty.  There’s a hymn that says “the whole earth is full of His glory” and I think it might be talking about that early fall kale!!  When your salad is a spiritual experience … hug your farmers indeed!”


So here’s to you CSA members! We are proud of all of our members because you have all made the decision to make a change in your life. That whatever brought you to our little CSA farm, whether it be health related, for reasons that help protect the environment, to support small farms, to know your farmers or simply because you were hungry for delicious food etc.. whatever the reason (s), you decided to make a change in your life happen and now you are here. This is where change happens. When a community comes together with a united voice we are empowered to make positive change. And because of all of you this land, these two farmers and this farm’s members are becoming healthier, happier and more productive.

Here’s to Fall, eating well & enjoying the seasonal bounty (with just 7 weeks left of Spring/Summer/Fall CSA!)


WHF Grass Fed Beef Shares!  Our 100% Grass fed, organic USDA certified beef shares will be available SOON.  We will keep all our members posted with the details.


Cheers to you all, enjoy the week and we’ll see you soon!

With kind regards,

your farmers

Jess & Brian

dirty hands, clean hearts