Happy Equinox!

It is, officially, fall.  It has felt like fall for a few weeks now at the farm and the farmers are more and more discussing what their next year will look like.  We are doing reflections of this year to best understand what next year will look like.  To do this, we are looking at what went well this year, what didn’t go well, and what we want to change.   Some of the things the farmers learned this year were hard won lessons.  The hardest of all is that they learned farming in Seattle is very, very different than farming in Africa.

Like many farms in the area, the tomatoes have gotten blite this year, a foliar fungus, due to the rain and cold but also because they were not staked.  The tomatoes were left on the ground which is the way they are grown in Africa.  They have also learned the importance of using greenhouses in an area with such a short hot growing season.

The Somali-Bantu farmers are happy to say that they now better understand the importance of keeping a budget and how to do that.  Their meetings have become more organized and they have a schedule for everyone to work the different markets.  The importance of farmers’ market stall presentation has become more and more understood and they feel good about how they sell their produce.  And, they have learned that Americans really like a story!  It has been important to be able to share their story with their customers.

This is just a little of what we talked about yesterday.  Our season has a few more weeks but this information will help the farmers as they begin to plan for next season.

It has been a good year!

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