Monday, October 11, 2010

I guess we should tell you about this...

I'm not sure why I'm feeling so shy about this, but we are going to be in Portland tomorrow night, October 12th, as part of the program for Friends of Family Farmers great series, inFARMation (and Beer!)

The topic is Funding for Farmers, a topic near and dear to us, as many of you know. As part of the floor show, they are going to be showing a presentation thing that we made last year at the Clatsop Community FEAST. I'm totally blanking out on what FEAST stands for, but it was a Community Food System organizing workshop hosted by Clatsop Community Action (our local food bank) and the Cannon Beach Farmers Market. I was asked to speak about 'Farming in Clatsop County'. The timing of when the event happened was such that we were in the final stages of negotiation for our farm, waiting to hear about whether or not our loan would be approved.

I was actually terrified to be standing up in public, in front of the press even, talking about my work as a farmer, when I had just had to assure our lenders that we had no intention of farming on the land we were buying. (Yeah, it was a long, sad ordeal, and the full story of our farm loan experience is one best told over several bottles of wine.)

What came out of me was less a report about the state of farming, and more of an impassioned rant about how unbelievably complicated it was to try and buy land to start a farm on the Oregon coast to grow food for our local community.

The presentation was well received (I've found people often respond well to a good rant!) and we were asked by several people to record the voice-over to the images so that it could be shown elsewhere, or posted on line.

And so it has been, and if I were better at all this self-promotion marketing stuff I would have posted a link to it here ages ago. Honestly, I think I still have some residue of fear that if I talk about this all in public that the bank will somehow take our farm away. Which I know, I know, they can't do. But you have to understand, it was a really crappy, stressful experience trying to get that loan. Is there such a thing as Post Traumatic Loan Syndrome?

Anyway, if you are in the Portland area tomorrow night, and want to come see us at inFARMation, that would be great!5:30-8-ish at Holocene, which is a deeply hip space, and very cool. (Michele from FoFF describes the atmosphere as 'skinny pants meets overalls'.) It's a really fun event, and it's free. Although I will encourage you to buy refreshments at the bar because it's good to support Holocene, who are making the space available to FoFF every month for inFARMation. So come hungry and thirsty.

And if you can't make it, you can check out our presentation on the North Coast Food Web site. It takes about 25 minutes, so go make yourself a cup of tea, or pour a whiskey, make popcorn, whatever, and settle down for a story.

I'm very excited that also speaking at inFARMation will be both Severine Von Scharner Fleming of The Greenhorns and Jared Gardner, who is working on a legislative campaign to start an Oregon state bank, which presumably would not make quitting farming one of the requirements for getting a loan to buy a farm.

I'll stop now before this turns into a whole new rant on the subject.

More 46 North Farm News:

Lime has been spread, and our winter cover crop is sprouting (and Fawn Fawn & Co. are loving it), and we are Making Plans for next year. So exciting!!

Our sexy new Italian BSC tractor thing is working just fine (and giving Packy a hell of a workout). I'm sort of hoping he'll show me how to use it...

The Bus (and its band) left on tour but will be back soon, maybe in time to help get the barn painted before winter really kicks in. (That would be the band helping with the painting, not the bus.)

We're strategizing on ways to get some of the farm buildings ready for winter, which will involve a lot of tarps, we think. And plywood. And lighting candles (not in the buildings) and saying various prayers for a reasonably wind-free season.

Eddie and Squeaky are basically supportive of all the farm plans, but they insist that next year we remember to plant catnip, because they have gone a whole year without fresh drugs and that is really way too long.

Hope Autumn is beautiful wherever you are.