a public outcry of affection, gratitude, and glee

Jeremy and I just returned from a mid-summer adventure to Norway to celebrate Jeremy’s little brother’s wedding …and gorge on wild blueberries.  A mid-summer jaunt off-farm has never occurred before and likely never will again. But this trip was spectacular and memories will more than satiate any future pangs for summer holiday.  Our friends Marci, Regina, and Tom took hold of the spinny pirate wheel of this drifting ship in our absence and navigated gracefully through July into August.

We were able to relax and enjoy our travels, knowing the farm was in good hands. And let me tell you (i.e. gush) just a bit about these hands.  Marci is a geologist and polar research scientist who has been spending her time alternating between seasons in Antarctica and the middle of Greenland. She is basically a badass; she even has experience with wizardry(!). This summer, she took a break in order to put her hands in the soil and soak up some >90 deg & 100% humidity in western South Dakota. Her attention to detail (check out this photo she took below – lacewing eggs spotted on a snow pea during harvest), keen memory, sweet sense of humor, and stories about polar gigantism consistently have us in a state of rapture.

Regina is a dearest friend who has been a part of Cycle Farm since before there was a Cycle Farm. She is a desert dweller, currently residing in the mountains of Montana, where she’s working on her MFA in telling stories that need to be told.  She has been here for us (or on the phone) through all of our ups and downs; she was even present for our very first harvest – a radish!  Regina has aided and abetted in all sorts of farm fun from fencing projects, a solar eclipse, afternoon gin and ginger ales, native pollinator nesting box building, spitter apple identification, and serious puppy dog snuggling. She is an ever present voice of reason and unreasonable enthusiasm on the phone. Radish adores her to the moon and back. And we do too.

Tom is a barefoot buddha finishing his senior year of high school. We got to know Tom last year when he expressed interest in small scale organic farming and offered to come help out on the farm. We don’t ever want him to go away. Not only is he a competent worker, he’s a bright, insightful, thoughtful, and kind human – and a great weeding conversation partner. He traverses our insanity with practiced patience and sparkly smiles, and sometimes even joins in on the madness.  He is the youth that makes you feel like the world is headed in an ok direction after all.

In short, these are three of the world’s most sensible, capable, compassionate, thoughtful and intelligent souls – all generously offering of their time and attention to keep this little piece of land, these old hens and sweet farm dog, the butterflies and bumblebees, potatoes and extremely imperfect irrigation set-up afloat.  It feels wholly humbling and we are so very grateful, from the bottom of our muddy, mucky hearts.

And, lastly, to Nick and Veronika, may you continue always to be sweet and lovely to, supportive of, and patient with each other. We are so deeply happy for you both and grateful to have been able to share your lovey-dovey day with you! Congratulations!

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A love letter in photos

We’ve been dialing in the crop plan for the season, our calendar and final seed orders. It’s as though each year, come spring, we pick up a whole series of juggling pins and then spend the next several months trying desperately, clumsily, joyfully and exuberantly to keep them all up in the air, juggling through the season. Sometimes we lose a pin or two. We might try and scoop them up, or we might just let them go and keep the others circulating. That’s the routine. Juggle. Toss up and keep catching.

This year, with our usual juggling pins we’ve also picked up a flaming torch. We’re planning a trip to Norway mid-summer to celebrate the wedding of two very special lovebirds, Jeremy’s brother Nicholas and his hjertenskjær, Veronika. As may be easy to imagine, the prospects of leaving the farm mid-growing season have us …in a state of nervous agitation. To be very clear: we’re looking forward to celebrating these two, to time together with family, a chance to work on our midnight sun tan, and we’re feeling mighty lucky to have an opportunity and the ability to make this jaunt around the world and the chance to explore Jeremy’s native grounds – it’s just a funny management puzzle that has us scratching our heads.

All this is to say, with the unsettled state of things here, it is an extraordinary comfort to be nested, as we are, in such a wonderful community. We’ve been drawing much needed, much appreciated inspiration from comrade, neighboring farmers, local businesses supporting local agriculture, and from our own fantastic farm family of supporters and eaters. And so this is a special love letter of thanks to you, with some of our most favorite photos from the farm stand… 

and from last year’s Fall Harvest Party…

We’re looking forward to sharing another season with you all!

With gratitude, flying, flaming torches, and so much love,

your farmers, Trish and Jeremy