News From the Farm | July 6, 2015

At Full Belly Farm, there can be weeks at a time during the busy season when our entire community of interns, owners, family members, employees, friends, neighbors, camp counselors, campers and visitors find that the heat, the dust, the weeds, and the sheer number of different things clamoring for attention at the farm can become overwhelming. 

We have written in these Beet pages about the Farm’s intentions – we aspire to create a farm that is sustainable, productive and even regenerative – a farm that supports the community around it, not only with nutritious food and nurturing flowers, but with a respectful work environment for employees and a minimum of environmental disruption. In the context of our every day work, those aspirations actually do guide many decisions.

Some of those farming challenges – weather, weeds and not enough people-power to get everything done – are pretty universal.  Agriculture is the world’s largest business.  One third of the economically active population of the world obtains its livelihood by farming, and many of the world’s farmers are not part of the industrialized treadmill of agrochemicals and genetic engineering.  Those farmers like us, rely on fertile soils and lots of human hands to perform the labor of farming.  Family farmers are feeding the world, trying to do their very best to grow food for their communities.

Surely farmers all over California right now, during the heat and hustle of harvest, look around every once in a while and despair that they just may not be able to get to all of the projects on the list.  Maybe it isn’t just here at Full Belly that the fields are weedy and the ‘to do’ list is long. 

Today at dusk, after a walk around the dusty, weedy fields, we picked a big red watermelon.  I’m not an expert, like the members of our melon crew, but I’ll tell you something crazy – after a couple of us ate between us, almost that entire huge watermelon, I felt much better! Like it says in Ecclesiastes,  “to every thing there is a season…” On a hot summer day, nothing puts things in a better perspective than a big red watermelon!

— Judith Redmond