Reyna’s winter reflection

I’m very pleased to share this with you and to be able to write this bulletin as many things have happened since the last bulletin I wrote. I don’t even know where to begin! One of the exciting parts of this was the move to the new farm. To be honest, I didn’t know if it was a good or bad feeling but I felt that I have a lot of work to do in the new farm. I cannot help but feel sad to say goodbye to our loving farm in Santa Paula.

This week I had the opportunity to go back to the farm and walk through what has been so important in my life for the last 3 years. In this place I lived the process of metamorphosis. When I started to work for The Abundant Table, it was just because I needed a job. But little by little, I fell in love with this project until it completely stole my heart. Santa Paula was practically my school because even though I have worked in the past as a farmer, I didn’t know in detail how much work goes into the process of growing food. And every field was a catastrophe (maybe I’m being a little bit too dramatic!).

Even though I still don’t think I know enough about agriculture, I still feel proud of all of the achievements that we’ve made in the last months at the farm.

Last season we had five acres in production, which translates to a lot of work for our team of beginners. While I was walking through the field I remembered that last December, it was completely green and full of life. I couldn’t help but let a few tears roll down my cheeks as the memories of everything that we had lived there played in my memory like a movie. I am very thankful to God for letting me have this experience; I am grateful not only for my job, but also to realize how passionate I feel about this job.

I think there’s a difference between men and women. Being a woman I allow myself the opportunity of having feelings for the mother earth, and enjoy sharing how important this time was in my life. To be able to harvest vegetables for hundreds of kids in schools; to be able to feed the community of CSA; and at the same time be able to grow as an agriculturist – and even more importantly as a woman and as a person. To me, that is the metamorphosis that I experienced. Now I not only work because I need the job, but also because I’m very passionate about what I do.

I see a kind of community that helps these types of farms to keep functioning. All together, we make a big difference. To walk on our old fields in Santa Paula now and to see how different everything is in the old farm – everything is lonely, nothing looks alive – this got me thinking that all the seeds that one day were harvested will eventually die to give more.

Our loving farm in Santa Paula died and now we have a new one, a new school where the first thing we learned was that it’s not easy to start all over again. Little by little we were harvesting even though most of our harvest did not work well. The smooth days change for loud ones, and the mountain panorama changes for a freeway that most of the time is full of traffic. But finally the winter is here with colder days. Those are the days that the insects don’t like, so that’s good news. After the insects weren’t part of the problem for the last month, we had a good harvest season growing to the fullest – yeah yeah yeah!!! I have so much hope for what’s waiting for us next year, and so much optimism to learn more about how farms work.

For me saying goodbye is always so hard to handle, but I appreciate that once in awhile it happens because it gives me the opportunity to see all the good things that we have in life and reminds me that we always have the opportunity to experiment with metamorphosis as long as we’re willing to take the risk of change. I’m still the same human being (well that’s what I think!) but with a different heart because I learned to love and value everything that Mother Earth gives us. I’m very thankful for being able to enjoy the beautiful mountains in Santa Paula, to live through the extreme weather – cold and hot. I am thankful for the opportunity to start all over again because I’m pretty sure there’s so much here – so much nature that wants to be loved from a community like us. With my heart full of hope for what’s coming next year, I wish everybody happy holidays. Enjoy your families – Merry Christmas and happy new year!

Farmer Reyna


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