2020 Volunteer of the Year
What a season at our Juniper Gardens Training Farm, home to the New Roots for Refugees program! And what a year on earth! In the midst of all the hard things happening, for us, it has been grounding to be able to focus on our farm, the crops, the farmers. We’ve welcomed two new staff members, a summer intern, two fresh first-year farmers, and 150 (that’s right! 150!) Farm Share CSA members. The food shortages and supply chain interruptions have helped focus so many people on local, sustainably grown food, more people than ever are paying attention to where their food comes from, how it was grown, and who grows it. We feel our community growing, and that gives us hope for what could come out of these times.
Our New Roots farmers have done amazing work in their fields; I am always blown away by their progress and perseverance. We’ve had a very rare Midwestern spring: cool, long, mild – which has been great for our spring crops. Ngay La laid drip-tape on half of his plot (adoption of a new production technology!), Bawi Hmung successfully grew broccoli (this is a major win, if you want to know why, try growing some or talk to local growers about it), several farmers seeded and planted perennial herbs and strawberries, and farmers have adopted more organic pest management practices.
Despite everything going on around us: farmers gotta farm!