Welcome to the Against the Grain Farm Stand where you can pre-order for pick up at either Watauga Country Farmer's Market or at the farm for Saturday, July 18th. If you're reading this in an email, you'll see the items that we have to offer this week below. You can simply click on the yellow button "purchase from the farmstand" to reserve a box, make swaps and add extras to the base box that Harvie will put together for you. If you're reading this in the Harvie platform, navigate over to the "farm stand" to reserve your box.
The ordering period for Saturday pick-up closes at 8pm on Thursday, July 16th.
If you have any questions about your box or the farm stand process, please reach out to Holly directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 828-406-4439. If you are having any difficulties placing your order or would like to confirm the contents of your box, please do not hesitate to reach out to Holly.
We continue with our apprentice profiles this week, in an effort to more deeply connect you with the hands who grow the food that you enjoy in your box each week. This week's profile is written by M Mueller and highlights Victor Romano...
Once upon a time, a billing analyst in Greenwich, Connecticut sat at a desk. When he wasn't working (which was often enough since he was really good at what he did) he got really good at playing video games; he got really good at sitting in an unhealthy posture, really good at staring at screens, really good at consuming the things that people in power wanted him to consume. Unfortunately, as glamorous as this life may appear, it was not fulfilling. It was, as Victor Romano (this week's featured apprentice) says, a paycheck.
Fortunately, Victor's feeling life had not fallen asleep. It was awake and intently observing the world around him and his place in it. He saw in particular the poisoning effects of a food system that force fed people "whatever was cheapest, whatever made money the fastest," as he says. He saw that "You can control people if they forget how to make their own food." And he saw this happening not just in the US, but in other places around the world, and he saw it needed to change. So he became the change.
Beginning modestly, with a flower box filled with soil, he planted seeds and began growing one or two vegetables and herbs, even a few strawberries. The taste of this home grown food showed him he was not mistaken: even in a few square feet of soil he could taste that he was on the right track. "The container garden was like dipping my toe into the world of farming even before I could get to a farm." He felt an imperative to feed himself--and others--good food. Fortunately his old job allowed him the time to think and to learn how to live more independently, self-sufficiently.
Fast forward to Victor Romano on ATG. There is no internet connection where he lives--a big change for an avid video gamer. He has to walk about the farm to get good phone reception to talk with his family, with whom he is very close. With the lack of technology, he is no longer glued to social media. He feels his body growing stronger, and instead of images on screens he confronts living creatures: pollen-covered bees, milk goats, the enormous variety of the many vegetables that come through the pack shed where he washes and sorts them and packs them for the CSA and nearby restaurants and the Food Hub, and then there's the soil stretching out in long rows of garden beds...
Here he can glimpse in the real world the rudiments of his future intentions: to grow good healthy food in the context of family and community, whether in his father's native Uruguay, his mother's native Colombia or his own native USA, practicing agriculture that derives from the earth itself, not from chemical factories and genetics-modifying laboratories.
And as for those flower boxes planted with herbs and vegetables, his brother has taken them over. "Here, did I show you this picture?" Victor grins and shows a photo of a raised garden bed, neatly built, overflowing with vegetables. It's the garden at home, growing like it's never grown before. All starting from a few seeds in a few square feet of soil.