Two parts of this trip might be of interest to Featherstone readers, visits to Yale University (where I got my start in agriculture, interestingly, and where our son Emmet is a sophomore) and to New Morning Farm in PA, where Jenni and I worked straight out of school. It was a trip down memory lane at some level, but it also was a very thought provoking occasion to (ere)assess why we got into farming in the first place, and how the world has changed since we did.
means to me. Very satisfying, if a bit intimidating.
The next day we made a trip to the Yale student farm, where Emmet is employed as a farm manager. It’s a 1.5 acre intensive garden, but productive enough that Emmet was taking a truckload of the “farm’s” produce to the Chapel Square farmer’s market (his work-study job!!) within 3 weeks of leaving work at Featherstone his freshman year. Here I was invited to address 15-20 student volunteers in the greenhouse, as they prepared to lay out plantings for their 2015 season (just what we were doing at the time back home in MN!). Also very interesting. I was impressed over and over again by the quality and depth of questions we received from students in our 2 days on campus.
After a day in NYC, Jenni and Jasper took the train home to Minnesota and I stayed on for two more days, travelling to central Pennsylvania to visit New Morning Farm and our friends Jim and Moie Kimball-Crawford. And what a fascinating “return to the roots” this was; I had not been back to New Morning in 12 years. SO many lessons about where we’ve come from in agriculture- Jenni and I- and where we’re headed.
I will write more about this in time, but for now suffice it to leave you with these photos of the treehouse that I built with a guy in a big Silver Maple at New Morning (it’s still there after 25 years!!), accompanied by this description of the place from Jim and Moie’s son Arlo’s memoir of growing up on the place (A Farm Dies Once a Year, published 2014):