Happy New Year! Happy Next Year?

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Hello everyone! We hope that, like us, you have spent the last week or two with family and/or friends, and that you’re having a wonderful holiday season. Now we are all faced with the eve of the new year, and as is often the case…we start to think. Typically, this gets us thinking about what we wanted to happen in the last year, what actually *did* happen and ultimately what might come to pass in the next year. Hopes, dreams, ideas, you know what I mean.

For us, 2013 was overwhelming in a lot of ways. As is often the case with life, some of it was great, some was bad, some was frustrating, and sometimes we just had to shrug our shoulders and move forward. Well, I suppose we always find ourselves doing that last part. In any case, I have been bumbling about, wondering what I was going to write to you all as this year came to a close. It’s not like I think you are waiting for me to say something, but I try to keep in touch with you all on a regular basis. Lately, I’ve been more focused on other things, which brings me to this article.

Which article? THIS ONE!

It’s an article that was written by Andrew French, who farms with his wife Khaiti at their farm–L.T.D. (Living The Dream) Farm–in Clayton, WI. I have never met Andrew, but I attended a workshop that Khaiti put on at a conference last year, and since then I’ve stayed in touch. In any case, I found myself scrolling through Facebook when I saw their link to this article. It talks about what we, our friends, fellow farmers, ‘food’ organizations and farm(ing) supporters in general are trying so hard to accomplish, and it’s one of the better pieces I’ve ever read on the subject. Perhaps it’s because the message–regenerate yourself–is hitting home pretty hard these days, as I try to take a step back, relax and give my body, mind and spirit the precious time they need to recover from 2013. It doesn’t matter though. Ultimately, the message here is one that we should all reflect upon no matter where we go to work or how we feel at the moment.

Reading through the article is simultaneously cathartic and reinvigorating for me, and I haven’t begun to truly reflect on everything Andrew talks about. Granted, I feel like I think about those things on a near-constant basis, but thinking in an echo chamber tends to make it hard for the great ideas to emerge from the din. I try, desperately, to avoid thinking like that, but in some ways it’s inevitable. I’d say this is especially true for myself, as I internalize a lot of thoughts and feelings on certain things (ok, everything) and let them percolate there until I can find the best, most healthy way for me to deal with whatever it is. Andrew, in a sense, has pulled me out of that and back into the arena we all too often forget exists. That is, we are not alone in our thoughts, or for that matter…our actions. (h/t Dalai Lama)

So, yeah, the article is inspiring a lot of ideas as well, and as I sit here typing this to you now I can pretty much guarantee you that things will be changing for us in 2014. We will still be farming of course, but before we really get to any in-depth planning for the coming season, I think we need to reorient ourselves and really determine where it is that we are headed. The past four years have been an incredibly fast, rewarding and exhausting venture, and I know now that if we are going to have another four years in us, we need to do a better job of taking care of ourselves.

Anyway, I already have a lot more to say about *all* of this than I want to include on this posting. My intent was to share a wonderful article, my thoughts about it and where we are and to wish you all a Happy New Year. We are looking forward to seeing you all again, and we are incredibly thankful for everything you have done to help us make our dream and the dream(s) that Andrew talks about a reality for us and for as many people as possible. As things come into focus for us for 2014, I will be sure to keep you updated along the way.

Cheers!

Chris