A Trip (Introduction to Season 2)
When we last spoke, it was mid-October and things were all pumpkins and onions; reflections and shortening days. We were enlivened and exhausted; frustrated and fulfilled. Now, the winter has begun to cease, and it’s all ahead of us again. The sun is stretching through the waking hours, and it’s starting to feel as though we may again come to see the ground. Our fingers itch for the dirt, as our bodies crave the co-motion that has come to define our spring and summer. Seasonal mania is ahead, and everything is right outside the window, waiting to reawaken.
Also waiting to awaken is our child, as my wife is now 33 weeks pregnant. This has been the foremost focus, and the deepest center of my attention and intention through the winter. Bearing witness to Fanni’s journey through this transformation has been a blessing and wonder. Day-by-day, she continues her intensive education on her own body and impending birth. She treks fearlessly to work regardless of conditions, practices yoga and maintains a refreshingly pleasant spirit through all the physical and emotional changes she faces. I am in continuous awe at her natural strength and fortitude as her belly grows and the kicks intensify within. We are working with wonderful midwives to prepare for the day when we will usher a new soul into this world. This is what is new, and to a large extent this is all that is new.
But the mayhem does not stop. In early January the Rising Sand crew road tripped to Door County for our first Rising Sand retreat, putting ourselves up in a cabin for three days to hash out reflections from last year and plan intensively for our commitments in the season to come. We have established a series of regular community meals called Supper Club, in which a number of us gather monthly to prepare wonderful spreads for anyone in need of food or community. We share meals often, and our formal and recreational meetings have taken on increasing frequency as the marketing and planning workload has intensified.
After bunkering down for much of the winter, recoiling from the emotional and physical toil of last season, we’re emerging again and remembering what all of this means. It is going to be a trying and telling season. We will come to terms with the ongoing realities of farm ownership, and be forced to reconcile whether this is our desired destiny, once the sheen of novelty has dulled. We will engage in the continuous battle of ambition versus energy, hedging bets on the inception of new involvements and projects. We will try our best to maintain decency and respect through failure and disappointment, and continue to explore whether a group can feasibly and positively exist under the structures of true shared ownership.
We will grow hemp, raise chickens and pigs, and grow some of the best vegetables this community has tasted. We will move our operations fully to our own land, and coordinate harvest days of expert efficiency. We will build, create, restore, destroy and burn. We’re farmers, goddammit. We will exercise control over our own destinies, to the precise extent that this is possible, and do our best to take the rest in stride. We will piece together our individual natures with the beautiful and terrible forces of nature outside, collaborating on the wild and unexpected. We will raise our very first Rising Sand baby. It will be a trip.