Nice to Meet You

Tuesday February 23, 2016
This is the first installment of my farm journal here at the Grange Farm School.  My name is Joshua Sternberg and I’ll be putting thoughts and observations to the page while farming apIMG_4213proximately an acre of land in Willits California, a small town filled with aged homesteaders, more recent urban expatriates, political dissidents, and passionate supporters of the next generation of food producers.  Our farm is on a historic ranch where an alternative lifestyle was forged during the era of conscientious objectors and Vietman. The alternative and conscientious continues amidst the spirit of John Jevon’s Golden Rule Garden run by Ecology Action and the fledgling force of the Grange Farm School.  There is a fervent feeling amongst all members of the community that we’re doing the good work that needs to be done.  With this history in my tail-wind I’m starboard forward into the sea of farming and activism.

I am a non-traditional farmer who transitioned from a life of urban trades and skill sets that have their place in farming, but fall further than shy from what is necessary to care for plants, animals, and land.  I am student and plan to be one for life.  That’s the beauty of the natural world: I’ll never be in a position where I’ve mastered nature, thus I have chosen a life-long learning experience which, I imagine, should keep me humble and engaged for the rest of my years.

This realization begins at GFS in the middle of an epidemic where the gener
al population thinks food comes from grocery stores, brought in by the convenience of a modern world of machines, rarely taking any time to look in the shadows to see the dwindling population of farmers who cast their seed and sweat to bring the world the one thing they cannot go without.  I am honored to come out of the shadows and bring you my observations of the farming life so that I can better understand my process and so you can have a relationship with someone who wants to bring the world nutritious, delicious, responsibly grown food.  Maybe, with some patient observations, hard work, and decent language, my words might inspire one or a few of you to enter the shadows and realize for yourself that there is a brilliant light beyond and join us farmers in taking back what belongs to everyone.  It’s nice to meet you…

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