News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

A year to remember at Seed to Table

The sun still warmed my back as I wiggled the last of the sweet onions from the soil. As I pulled up the last of last fall’s vision, a calm came over me. I realized that our team no longer needed to worry if the cabbages will size up, how social distancing at the Farmers Market would go, how we would host the next field trip of students, if there would be enough tomatoes to go around, how we could get food to those vulnerable to COVID-19, etc…

This week the size of the onion is simply the size of the onion. There is no more room for growth as temperatures in the teens sweep over the farm, signaling that it is time to rest and plan for the next season. Just like that, the circle of the farm is completed again — although, for us all, this year was certainly not “just like that.”

Interactions developed new meanings throughout the year as “normal” was catapulted from sight.

For our team, the farm pick-ups, field trips and farmers market became our social highlights of the year! And I am not joking here.

On the farm, the distribution of vegetables remained one of the few normals: feeding our community, guiding you through the pickup line, conjuring up our favorite recipes, and lighting up at the shared enthusiasm for kohlrabi (I know there are some new lovers!).

When we were able to open up to field trips, the sound of students woven throughout the field was a welcome reprieve; despite face masks and using kale as social distancing wands, all seemed back to normal, blurring out all that was happening outside of the fence line.

Produce and our outdoor education foundation allowed us a chance to connect and, for that, we will always be grateful for the power of food.

It has always been a means for connection, but this year marked an entirely new level in my book.

On behalf of the staff and the board, I want to say thank you for trusting our team with feeding and educating your families while keeping our family safe during these trying times. We want to say thank you for sharing with us a year to remember and for fostering a strong agriculture community that will be here for you. Thank you for believing in our organization and joining in a shared vision of our community where all people, regardless of race, gender, geography or socioeconomic status, have access to fresh produce that is nourishing, locally grown, and culturally appropriate.

Thank you for lending us energy with your smiles and enthusiasm allowing us to meet the myriad challenges posed by field trips, farmers market, pick-ups, and food bank drop-offs. Thank you for taking the leap and learning to cook that salad turnip and diving into new recipes that fuel your health and support local food systems! Thank you for fueling us to be the best farmers and educators we can be!


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