Farming is a really hard job. In fact it’s a tough job all around the world. When you try to grow sustainable food, try to sell locally, try to make a profit, and try to make a decent wage, the economic and environmental balance becomes impossibly challenging.
Think about this scenario: you have spent years building up the health and fertility of your soils sustainably, you have spent months raising an heirloom tomato plant from seed, you have spent weeks staking and growing healthy sun-ripened tomatoes and you have spent the early morning hours harvesting and setting up your stand at the farmer’s market. And then a market shopper picks up your tomato, looks at it and says “this tomato doesn’t look as perfect as the one from the supermarket and it costs more, can I have it for much cheaper?” You sigh.
But some really special people in this world have stepped up to the local organic farming challenge and have dedicated their livelihood and passion to crafting the perfect nourishment for the rest of us. They have been out covering crops when it was freezing and covering them when it was scorching, they have been totally drenched in rain, and totally drenched in perspiration. They have seen a lot of sunrises and a lot of sunsets, and a lot of mosquitoes. And gophers. And they grow the best damn produce that you’ve ever tasted.
So this tribute is to all of those farmers, and namely Jonathan Anderson and the farmers at Sierra Hillside Farms. Jonathan and his team have managed the Sierra Hillside Farm for over 5 years. They are part of a chain of local superstar farmers that began in the early 90’s, and a legacy of farming established during the California Gold Rush times in the 1800’s. Jonathan and friends have terraced almost 2 acres of land and sold at like 5 local markets a week. Jonathan is moving upward and onward to his new home at Hawk ‘n Fox farms. It’s super exciting, but Jonathan and all of the farmers and family and WWOOFers, over the last 5 years at Sierra Hillside Farm will be sorely missed as the farm transitions to the its next phase, whatever that may be. So be sure to like the new Hawk ‘n Fox Facebook page, support your local farmers (please pay them fairly) and join me in this tribute by raising a glass of freshly squeezed organic tomato juice to Jonathan and the dedicated farmers around the world who bring us the healthiest sustainable soils and the best damn produce we’ve ever tasted!