This time of year I feel ready to start something new. Its the vestigial rhythm of the school year that inspires the purchase of some writing supplies, and a return to projects. I am excited to leave behind the summer’s farm dinners, canning and long afternoons at the local brewery, and return to the library, archives and computer.
Aldo Leopold gave a commencement address about leisure time. “The man who cannot enjoy his leisure is ignorant…” he wrote. The key to enjoying leisure to Aldo was adventure. Not being a very adventurous person by nature I was concerned that I was doomed to ignorance until he defined adventure as any “untrodden ground”. I am beginning to see this little leisure time project as a real adventure.
Granted we are treading on old ground, but it is new to us, new to our fellow readers, and we hope to juxtapose the old facts in an adventurous new way. Our adventure so far as lead us down dusty trails to local food festivals, harvests and trial crops, booms and busts. We have hiked and read and emailed and queried.
Most recently this summer we were invited to Molino Creek to observe the famed Early Girl Dry Farmed tomatoes, gleaming red in their arid fields. We heard how the Farming Collective learned to dry farm from Dick Wadsworth, who was living on the land at the time. The few decade’s worth of history of local dry farming is shorter than that of the apple or sugar beet, and the stories are still being documented. The research approach for dry farmed tomatoes will be very different than that required for other crops. We are looking forward to unearthing the story.
— Jody Biergiel Colclough