News From the Farm | May 18, 2015

To our CSA members and friends,

With a mix of joy and a bit of sadness, I will say my good byes to you all, as I will retire at the end of this month.  I have been your CSA Coordinator for 8 years and have enjoyed many conversations with our members. Thank you for all the joy I have experienced in this position and for the friends I have become acquainted with.

I became a hobby farmer at the age of 48, as my husband retired from his corporate job and we simplified our lives and moved to this valley 12 years ago.  Our home was built in the early 1900’s and moving to this quaint valley took some getting use to. We had a wood burning fireplace and no air conditioning and in this hot area, I wondered if I would survive not having the modern conveniences I was accustomed to.

We now had 7 acres of walnuts and ½ acre of oranges to tend to, plus 2 more acres to mow and weed. And to boot, rattlesnakes that we needed to watch out for, Yikes! I thought about this move many times and said I must be a bit crazy for sure.

What did we know about farming?  Absolutely nothing, but we were game for our transition.  My husband went from working 8-hour days to 12-hour days.  A lot of mowing, weeding, watering, picking and pruning filled our days, our weeks, our months and now, many years have flown by. Farming is a lot of hard work, something we were not afraid of by any means, and we learned that sweat on our brows felt good. My grandparents were farmers in Indiana, so what the heck, it was in my blood right?

My husband passed away many years ago and then I was the farmer, or one by default anyways.  Working and tending my own orchard, with trial and error and a lot of blood sweat and tears, brought growth and changes for me that I would not trade for anything else. One year I sold my own walnuts. Shelling them myself was an experience like no other, 3 days, 10 hours each day, bent over a conveyor belt, picking out leftover shells and bad nuts as they went by.  Yes I was like Lucille Ball on the chocolate line as they rolled by faster and faster!  You could not keep up.  I could only laugh, as there was not much else to do, but to finish what I had started. 

I have learned a lot and the experiences on my farm have been invaluable. I have an appreciation for all the farm workers here, and for anyone that grows food for themselves and for others. 

This year most of my orchard has been torn out, with a lack of water and my own inexperience my trees had seen their better days.  It is time for a fresh start with a new orchard of some sort, tended to by Full Belly. Some future items grown on my land for sure will be seen in your boxes in years to come.


Connie (right) and Becky (left) have been the CSA ‘tag team’ coordinators for the past 8+ years. Connie will be missed by everyone!

So I welcome this next chapter in my life! New challenges and adventures for this farm girl still in training.  My first challenge is to finally learn how to drive and operate my tractor.  I know this may not sound too exciting for most, but for me I am thrilled!  Traveling is on the list with Jim as well as spending more time with my 5 grandchildren.

Thank you all, especially our owners, Paul, Andrew, Dru and Judith, for the time spent with you, the lessons learned and the help you have given me! And especially all the wonderful produce I have been blessed with over the years of working here.Another thank you to our amazing farm crew and my co-workers Becky, Janine, Cheryl, Ana, Hallie, Jenna, Jordan & Jan, you will be missed! 


Connie Cefaratti