Greetings Featherstone Farm Community-
The last days and weeks of fall have been among the most extraordinary in our 20 years in business at Featherstone Farm. The end of the rain in mid October (hurray!!!), the run up to and then the election, and now the most remarkable run of warm, sunny weather I can ever recall in November (read: super busy in the field. We’re still picking kale and parsley!!).
I’d be dishonest if I said that my head wasn’t still spinning. I go through days as I always have- mostly- but from time to time I still find myself seized with emotion. It’s all too much…
The campaign for recovery and renewal we are running now through the end of this month, is truly a make-or-break proposition for Featherstone Farm, for me, and for my family. Twenty years on the “roller coaster” of organic farming has left me with little taste for drama; either we make our goal (to the point we are fully recovered and ready to proceed with the “FF 3.0” era) or we don’t.
In the latter case we will wind down affairs, sell our last carrots in deep winter, deliver our final CSA boxes in February, have a big auction in the spring, and look for some other work. I could spend pages and pages enumerating the “important” things that I think would be lost, but I would also have 3 decades of the best memories a person could ever hope to have.
I’m doing my best now, to make my peace with at least the possibility that this could happen; ten days ago I confidently (and at the time, humorously) told all FF employees that the likelihood of a farm liquidation was about as great as the likelihood of a Trump presidency.
But here’s the thing; I truly, truly want Featherstone Farm to continue. And I know after countless conversations with my wife and sons and broader family, that they do too. Yes the stress of the “roller coaster” has taken a mighty toll on all of us, and the idea of voluntarily stepping off has a certain appeal.
But in 20 years we have created so much together- as a family, as a farm team, as a farm community- and we have so much important work yet to do in this world. Jenni and I feel that now, of all times, is when we must reach deep and find what it takes to speak out about who we are and what we believe in, and to do the work of repair and recovery…. in our farm business, in our daily lives, in our community at large. We just can’t give up now!!!
And I believe that we share this vision- and the values of optimism and cultural inclusiveness and environmental responsibility that underlie it- with a broad enough community of people, that Featherstone Farm can and will receive the support it needs to recover and rebound. I have great faith that we can and will make this work together, as a community supported farm.
I know that many, many of you too have dedicated your lives’ work to a very similar vision … if not to Featherstone Farm alone, then to other farms, businesses and community groups which share these values. All of us at FF are so grateful for this work and dedication. We are so grateful for what you have already done for Featherstone Farm over the years, for what you are doing now, in this current campaign.
Our campaign appears to be gaining momentum, and I have plenty of cause for optimism. But as we all learned on November 8, we never want to take anything for granted. Please continue to help us spread the word here.
In Co-operation and in Community-