Hi everyone, all 3 of us here today. Because this will be the last blog post of the season, we all have some things to say, and it’s gonna be a long one, so bear with us!
Anna here first.
I remember many conversations Joe and I had months and months ago when we were excitedly talking about what our year with Alli at Second Wind would be like. We couldn’t wait to get here to experience and learn as much as possible to take back home to our projects in the South and Midwest. Joe has learned to better enjoy raw tomatoes, and I have learned I will always and forever dislike the taste of celery (it is beautiful to gaze at from a safe distance). In addition to eating mountains of some of the most delicious foods on the planet, we honed our farming skills during our daily work life. I appreciate everyone who has helped make Second Wind a part of the no-till movement, from all our CSA members and market customers to Jay and Polly of Four Winds. My deepest gratitude goes out to all of you, and of course to Alli and Joe. ❤ ❤ ❤ We did it!
Hello Everyone, Joe here.
It has been an absolute pleasure to be one of your farmers this past season. Getting to know you all and your families has been wonderful. Alli has been amazing in her teaching and showing Anna and me the ins and outs of growing a wide variety of vegetables at a farm scale. I am sure everyone has noticed the amazing amount of food produced this year and the unparalleled quality and care put into each item. Besides being thankful and appreciative of the soil and the plants themselves, it never would have happened without Alli welcoming us in to be a part of this project with her. Anna has also been a wonderful partner in this adventure, helping to make it possible for me to be here.
I will not be in the Hudson Valley next year, as it was always planned to be a one season commitment. I have my own farm in Kentucky, which I founded (with Alli’s sister) 3 years ago as a combination farm and farmed animal sanctuary. It looks like I will be giving it a go there to start production with an awesome team (which Anna is a part of). At my farm, we are looking at growing fruit, nuts, mushrooms, herbs and various other plants. Last year we planted the beginnings of orchards that will develop in the coming years.
In my transition this year from construction work to farming, I learned so much about growing food. I feel truly happy to have found something that speaks so powerfully to me, and it has also shown how much hard work and time it takes to farm. It has given me a whole new perspective on the problems and issues that affect all of us through the agricultural systems that feed us. You have all been an important part in that, in trusting us as farmers to provide for you and your family, and also sharing the risk/reward that farming can bring and/or struggle with. The CSA model plays an important role in creating a more personal and healthy food system through community involvement and support. Thank you for being involved in the change we all want to see; this involvement and relationship is so necessary to bring us back closer to our food and community. Thank you.
We look forward to seeing all of you at these final distributions. Please note the different days and times for pick up (also, all bi-weekly share members are included):
Gardiner: Sunday (tomorrow!) from 2-5
Garrison: Monday from 4-7
Here’s what will be in the final week’s share:
It’s Alli now!
I couldn’t be more excited that Thanksgiving is almost here. Many of you have heard me gush over Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, in past years. It’s such a wonderful day, all about gathering with family or friends, sharing a meal, and giving thanks for each other and for the food. As a farmer, this focus on food and community warms my heart and makes me grateful for all of you and for this amazing land where we are able to grow your food. This time around, though, is somewhat bittersweet; I have some extra special thanks to offer, as this will be my final Second Wind CSA distribution with all of you.
For those of you that don’t know, Second Wind has served as somewhat of an incubator for young farmers over the years. The couples who ran Second Wind before me, Sam & Erin and Bryn & Wes, have all gone on to start their own farms (Long Season Farm and Solid Ground Farm, respectively…check them out!). So, after 3 incredible seasons here at Second Wind (where did the time go?!), it is now time for me to pass the torch to another young farmer and begin taking more steps toward my own future farm.
When I first learned about CSA farming and sustainable agriculture, I decided almost immediately that was what I wanted to do with my life. I worked on my first farm 10 years ago, and luckily I fell in love with the work. Like many young farmers, I bounced around from farm to farm (and had an office job for some years in between!), trying to find the one that was right for me. I was always interested in low-input and no-till growing with a focus on building healthy soil as the foundation for growing delicious vegetables, but I didn’t know it was being done on this scale until I found Four Winds & Second Wind. The farming practices here are exactly what I was always looking for, and I have learned so much during my time here that I hope to carry over into any future farming that I do. I am so thankful to Jay and Polly for creating Four Winds Farm, to the Four Winds Farm manager, Jenna, for all of her help and guidance over the years, and to all of you amazing market customers and CSA members who have supported and encouraged me on this journey.
This has been a truly amazing and bountiful season with all of you. While the drought definitely gave us some hard times, it was great not to lose anything to those pesky groundhogs this time around! I cannot say what a difference Joe and Anna made for the farm and for me. They have been the best farm partners I could have hoped for, as they took on insane amounts of work and were always the best at keeping my spirits high on the really rough days. But this has also been a great season because of a Four Winds employee, Lydia (Lyds for short!). Lydia has been a breath of fresh air at the farm, with an amazing work ethic and a positivity and warmth that can’t be matched. Within her first few weeks of work, Jenna and I were already having whispered conversations about how Lydia would be perfect for Second Wind. And now, as deeply as I have loved farming here at Second Wind, we could not be happier to be handing over the reins to Lydia! I know that you will be in great hands with her, as she is a smart, skilled farmer with a passion for good food…I could go on and on, but instead I’ll let her speak for herself:
Hello, Lydia Nebel here!
I am looking forward to getting to know all of you next year and want to give some introductory info to get us started.
I was born and raised in small-town southwest Missouri, where I first learned a love of food production from my grandfather, a hobby gardener, and my mother, with her natural green thumb. After graduating from university, I moved to Kansas City, Missouri and began working at a certified organic, diversified vegetable urban farm. Since then, I’ve worked on several small-scale farms and in farm/food education. I moved to New York City to be near family and after a year there, came to the Hudson Valley to breathe the fresh air and work in sight of the amazing ridge.
I began farming as a means of avoiding labor exploitation in food production and believe more than ever in the need for locally responsible, globally-aware food economies. I am so thankful to have had a year training in the Four Winds no-till methods and am excited to continue in the line of CSA managers bringing you all the best food possible!
Please be in touch as the season begins and tell me some about yourselves.
Warm wishes for your winter season and see you in the spring!
And I’m going to leave it there….If you stuck with this sappy blog post this long, thank you. I will truly miss this farm and all of you. Thank for you an incredible 3 years. Have a happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Here are a few more pictures so that you can see what we’ve been up to for the last month…Enjoy!