We'd like to announce that the Green Earth Institute, which merged with The Conservation Foundation earlier this year and became one of our major programs, will now be called our Green Earth Harvest program. With the change of seasons and a brand new name, our Farm Manager Duncan Simonson is feeling thoughtful - about the past, and about the future. Here are his Thoughts on Autumn:
As the Main Season comes to a close, and the Late Fall Season is just days away, this is perhaps the most reflective time of year. It’s a bit too early to get lost in the holiday season, but the nights are crisper, and with the Harvest Moon behind us we are gleaning the fields of our final crops. The cycling of the seasons becomes more routine with the experience years of growing gives you. This change is somewhat welcome, although it forces your hand to the remaining crops in the fields. Autumn is the ultimate time for reflection and planned improvement. What went well this year?
The seasoned crew put it all in when it counted most. They encountered a difficult season: one of wet and cool conditions in the earliest days of getting production off the ground, followed by super hot and dry, ending with an unprecedented bounty. The crew made the best of the season they were given, persevered through the struggles, and powered through to the later abundance. I am thankful to the many who came together to make this farm work. The crew was out every day, with the occasional weekend, overseeing the needs of the farm. The volunteers helped out in many realms, and brought many smiles to the monotony some tasks may bring. The Conservation Foundation employees Carrie Thompson, Ellen Soukup, Chere Hayes, Deanna Doohaluk, Jill Johnson, and Sandy Kaczmarski were all instrumental for a smooth merger. Brook McDonald and Dan Lobbes trusted our farming experience to run the farm in our own way, and were always a good sounding board for new ideas. Many employees at the Conservation Foundation joined our community, or continued their support. As always, there’s Farmer Steve Tiwald, who saw the potential, did the research, and got this farm off the ground. Steve gave the proper foundation for success. Cassi Pollowy filled the role of organizational wiz swimmingly, adding new and innovative ways to manage the computer/communications role.
Lastly, there are the shareholders. If you are a shareholder and are reading this article, you keep the farm running and I am most grateful to you. You’ve chosen food as important in many spheres of life. You gratify the ideals of a small, local, Organic farm. Thank you for a great season; I hope to see you in the Spring.
We improve the health of our communities by preserving and restoring natural areas and open space, protecting rivers and watersheds, and promoting stewardship of our environment. That is The Conservation Foundation’s mission. Sustainable agriculture and conservation care about some of the same things, even if so in some different ways. Green Earth Institute had the mission of promoting nutritional health and environmental sustainability. Look at the beginning and the end of the TCF mission to see that the old GEI mission bookends the TCF mission. The area between, the meat of the mission, so to speak, encapsulates what Green Earth is trying to accomplish. This community shares a common interest in healthy food. The farm was preserved by TCF as a gift from Lenore McDonald under the condition that agriculture and education intermingle within this open space in perpetuity. Our obsession with healthy soil, healthy vegetables, healthy people, and healthy communities fulfills her vision for this land.
Healthy soil provides healthy vegetables, while it retains and filters water to protect our rivers and streams. Healthy vegetables may not be native, but they nourish us in order to make informed environmental decisions. Everyone deserves clean air, clean water, and access to healthy food. Healthy people build a healthy community, that can recognize the importance of preserved space, and care about growing good food.
Here at Green Earth Harvest, we appreciate the foundation others have laid for us, from Lenore McDonald, to Steve Tiwald, to TCF. While reflecting on this past season, we can take a moment to rest on our laurels (but not too long), and look forward to doing even better next year. It’s the strong community that makes this all possible. A new chapter starts with Green Earth Harvest, and we welcome you along for the journey. Thank you for a good season. I’ve already started planning for next year.
Written by Duncan Simonson, Green Earth Harvest Farm Manager