News from the Farm | March 13, 2023

Hi everyone, this week’s news is coming from Carly, a new Full Belly Intern!

I’ve spent the last two years living in Whitefish, Montana; a town famous for skiing and spectacular mountain views. While there, I worked on two organic veggie farms through cold mornings and hot smoky afternoons. And, although I loved Montana, my partner and I decided we needed more farming than the short summers up North can offer us. We decided to pack up all our stuff and head to California, a place where, in my mind, it’s always warm and the sun always shines.

I began my internship at Full Belly Farm on January 9th of this year amidst historic rainfalls and floods. Turns out, the sun doesn’t always shine here! In my first few weeks on the farm, many people told me that the rain wouldn’t last and we’d be in for warm sunny days come March. But it seems that I’ve accidently brought some of the cold from Montana with me here as the temperature has stayed low and the cold rain (and even snow!) keep falling. 

Farming is a job that requires a little bit of toughness. While the pouring rain proves a difficult backdrop for farm tasks, we all resolve ourselves not to complain about a single drop because we know this water is so desperately needed. Whether it is 35 or 110 degrees, crops need to be harvested, produce needs to be washed, trucks need to be loaded, and deliveries need to be made. And one thing I’ve learned at Full Belly is that you can’t keep a farmer down. Throughout these cold and wet weeks, all of us have continued to work hard. Seasonality and weather are a part of life. As a farmer, you learn to be in tune with the seasons as they come and go, fitting in tasks when you can.

Last Friday, we had a break from the rain and the plants in our greenhouse were ready for transplanting and were crying for release from their trays. Although we were unable to drive the transplanter through our still wet beds, the sunny day was not to be wasted and hands are as good of a tool as any. So, we assembled a crew and spent the day transplanting lettuce, broccolini, kale, and collards by hand. Hand transplanting is a slow process that requires patience and care, but truthfully it is one of my favorites: getting your hands in the dirt and sending your plant starts on their way to grow into beautiful spring and summer crops. 

We’ve got a lot more spring and summer crops that need to get in the ground. I’m looking forward to more of those sunny, warm California days, or at least short breaks in the rain, to do more transplanting.

– Carly Dillis