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Lettuce Rejoice! August 19, 2021- For the Love of Food and Farming

Posted on August 13th, 2021 by Tamara McMullen

August 19, 2021

The Lettuce Rejoice!

Firmly Rooted Farm's Newsletter for their Veggie Loving Farm-ily

On the Farm: For the Love of Food and Farming

Hello again my veggie loving friends,

Things have really been heating up over at Firmly Rooted. Quite literally, this latest heatwave has us watering the crops with our faces. Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, I have to stop and remind myself why we do what Tamara describes as “noble work.” Not to get too full of ourselves, but it really is noble work. We are working as stewards in collaboration with the land, bringing forth life and sustenance, for the benefit of humans and the earth. We don’t just seek to farm for profit, we seek to build wealth; a good life for our minds, bodies, and souls. If you are familiar with the philosophy of Aristotle, you know he described a “recipe” for the good life. Humans have basic needs, inherent to all humans, which must be fulfilled to live a good life. To Aristotle, these needs were not only food, water, and shelter. They included love, knowledge, skill, and virtue of character; natural desires for all humans (as opposed to acquired desires which differ between individuals). Of course, his philosophy cannot be summed up so simply, but I believe that at Firmly Rooted, we’re living a good life. We work as comrades in the fields, we share virtues, we pursue knowledge and self-improvement, and we achieve these things through the satisfaction and skill of farming. We flourish, we live a good life.

I’ve been farming all my life. I grew up on a farm, it’s a part of me. People often romanticize farming, and often I do as well (see the first paragraph of this newsletter.) But there is a balance to be had. Farming is not all glitz and glamour, it’s hard work. But it wouldn’t be noble work if it was easy. I wouldn’t have my strength of character if I hadn’t spent summers as a child picking stones in the sun, rain, or hail. Or if I hadn’t helped my dad pull breached calves or assist with ewes who prolapsed during birth. I get a kick out of surviving a freezing fall day ankle deep in mud, harvesting storage crops, or blazing hot summer sun, picking beans in the greenhouse. It’s the challenges we face which can bring us the most pride.

I sometimes wonder what I would be doing if I wasn’t farming. I wonder if this is the convenient route because it is what is most familiar. I have a wide range of interests; I could try to do anything. But I feel purpose in this work. I feel pride, joy, meaning, and opportunity. I see this work as an avenue to create positive change. I plan through my schooling to enhance this change and build skills that complement my practical ability to grow food.

So, if this sounds like a life experience you would like to have a small glimpse of, here is an opportunity for you. Firmly Rooted is looking for a part-time employee for the fall, since I am abandoning my post and returning to the confines of a classroom (I joke, I love learning). The job would require you to dedicate three days in the mid to late week, from September to around Christmas. The ideal candidate would be relatively fit, and able to lift at least 40 lbs. Hopefully, you also love vegetables and food, because there’s a lot of that sorta talk around here. If you think this is something you would love to do, reach out to Tamara by email

Kitchen Corner

Beans beans, the musical fruit, the more you eat, the more you… well, you know the rest. We seem to have had an influx of beans on the farm lately. In the feature photo for this week, you can see me standing before the Great Wall of Beans. This is the perfect opportunity to try the delectable side dish I’ve shared with you. It’s an easy go-to favourite of mine, especially when I don’t have much time and am exhausted from a long day of work. Like always, I encourage you to mess around with the ingredients a little, maybe add some chilli flakes, or increase the amount of ginger and garlic. I’d be doing everyone a disservice if I didn’t also share this recipe for fermented beans as well, you can add any flavourings you like, such as garlic, dill, coriander, or chilli flakes!

Kitchen Clean-Up

Currently, we have no updates regarding the spraying that happened last week; we are still awaiting test results from the Ministry of Environment. However, everyone at the farm has been overwhelmed with the outpouring of support we’ve received regarding the incident. One million times thank you to all, whether you’ve reached out or simply held us in your thoughts, we appreciate it.

That’s all for now folks, happy eating until next time!

Farmer Erika