End of Year/ New Beginnings 12/17/21

Posted by Mandy + Steve O'Shea on


It’s been quite a week! We’ve been a flurry of activity lately with our small crew and the five of us have just been trying to wrap up the “must do” list before the weekend.

  We’re prepping the last beds and finally pulling the plastic on the newest tunnel, while Naw and Marry plant the butterfly ranunculus and the last of the Icelandic poppies.  Rachel has been out in the fields planting new Peonies (yay!) and Mandy, as usual, is dynamically running around orchestrating and participating in everything.

  The goal is to get everything critical done, so we can give everyone 2 weeks off starting this weekend, so they can spend the holidays relaxing with friends and family or perfecting their pickleball backhand (Rachel is our Serena). 

   Time away from work is important for nourishing the soul and replenishing enthusiasm for starting the new year refreshed and inspired.  It’s time to reflect on the why and subsequently the how.  The why comes first, otherwise you can easily get tangled and confused and begin to drag yourself and others along with you.  With that in mind, Mandy and I will be spending time on Unifried (our magical bus) for our annual retreat/meetings, revisiting all of our ideals, visions, intentions, and motivations in order to clearly map out how to best coordinate a collective effort in as positive a direction as we can for the farm, for us, and for all of our employees.

   Everything’s changed out here, but we have a firm outline for next year.  We lost Edwin to a career change earlier this year, but we are still close and can hopefully talk him into doing some of his famous cooking for all of us over the break.  Really, we just miss him and want to laugh at his amazing stories.  He could be a stand up comedian.

   We are excited to be getting Wah Sha back for half a year in February!  She’s Naw Dee Poe’s best friend from back in Burma, is an amazing employee, and is always a joy to have around.  A lot of giggling and frequent bouts of belly laughs from the ladies when she’s with them, which always brightens our spirits and lightens whatever stress load we may be carrying around the farm.

   We’ll also be hiring 2 more seasonal employees for very specific jobs, starting in February and staying with us into June.  

  1) We need someone to fill in for Mandy in our flower shipping studio.   This someone needs to be highly quality oriented, smart, efficient, forward looking, and cheerful.  This is a very quality focused position requiring a highly competent person.

   2) Mandy and I have absorbed Edwin’s job this year, but for our busy season (Spring) we need our focus on everything else, so we are also looking for someone to take over some of Edwin’s tasks.  Someone with a strong back, eagerness to learn and contribute, and positive disposition to fill a more labor oriented position.   This is more of a Jack/Jill of all trades position where physical strength, adaptability, observational alertness, and general desire to learn and contribute are the core strengths required.

   If you know someone, or are someone that is interested, please go to this link for more info.

   On the personal end of things, this Tuesday, Marry went to help her and Naw’s brother (they’re sisters :) buy a home with a large garden plot nearby (yay!).  It’s a tough housing market, so we’re really happy that all the siblings have managed to find their own homes and land out here.  The agricultural operations they have for personal use and side hustles are impressive too!  Chile peppers by the thousands, pigs, goats, ducks, chickens, greens and so on. 

    It’s so great to have the small scale ag that their families and friends bring to this area that is otherwise largely just huge scale grain, lumber, poultry and hay operations.  Fields of grain are bucolic and pretty, nothing against them, but they also represent a strong multi-decade trend towards centralization of production and resources.  We all see what a hyper centralized world results in when supply chains fail.  Small scale means biodiversity and in some ways it means resiliency.  

    It also appeals on just a personal level.  Our lives are very abstract and disconnected, so it inherently feels good to see people so intimately connected to their food. 

    All this to say, we are really happy for Naw and Marry to further establish their family here.  They are great neighbors and they make this community a better place.