Hello friends of the farm, and Happy New Year!

After a very busy and strenuous 2023 farm season, I escaped to some warmer climes for the annual “self-care tour”…lots of yoga, swimming in the ocean, singing and playing music, reflection, and setting intentions for 2024. I have found that having a daily practice of some sort that promotes physical and mental health has been a game changer for me in recent years. By making better choices about where I put my attention, I have stopped spinning my wheels as much, and this discipline has allowed me to find more joy in life. And it’s important to stoke that fire before jumping into another farm season! I imagine the feeling is similar to this monkey….launching myself into the unknown, but with enough past success, to hope I can stick the landing.

Spider monkey at Blue Osa resort in Costa Rica

Traveling in Costa Rica and Mexico, and meeting many new people, one of the things that stood out to me is how the entire world seems to have become inundated with processed food. And in meeting and talking with new people, learning how few of them know a farmer, or have access to any sort of local food other than what they get from big grocery stores. Many people are so far removed from their food and how it’s grown that they seem to have accepted that industrial processed food is the only kind of food there is, and that’s probably because that is becoming the actual reality so many of us now face. It really stood out to me just how fortunate we are to have access to such amazing food in Montana…from organic vegetables, fruits, and grains to wild game and local grass-fed beef, lamb and pork…it’s here (for now), if you are looking for it.

Eating with intention is not a priority for many people these days, and that’s partly because it’s getting increasingly difficult to do so, and partly because many people don’t even know why it is important to do so. As a culture, we still seem to be looking away from the fact that our health is in decline, and that our natural cycles (water, carbon, mineral, etc.) are all messed up, and that it has everything to do with how we grow food. This “looking away” is a troubling trend, and I don’t know how we change our culture and it’s industrial worldview, other than to keep farming the way we are farming, and operating a quirky grocery store with an value-based supply chain, with the hopes that it holds space and serves as a reminder that there is another worldview available to everyone. This trip helped reaffirm for me the path that I am walking. To be able to grow nutritious food for our community, free of harmful ag chemicals, and in a way that supports the health of the soil and greater ecosystem, in a time where the dominant model is industrial agriculture, which degrades human and ecological health….I can’t think of anything more important to do with my time and energy.

Equally important, it made me appreciate that the only way that we can continue to offer an alternative, and to take this stand, is by having the support of our customers and our community. Regardless of my values, we can only farm if people are willing to buy what we are selling. Farmers are dependent on their customers, and it’s important to remember and acknowledge that this is a reciprocal relationship. You all play as important a role in our food system as we farmers do. We all make many choices each day regarding where we put our attention and what values we support, and these choices are so important in the way they shape our world.

Which I suppose brings me to the point that if you would like to be part of our farm’s CSA in 2024, I have this nifty little link for you to follow that will take you to the sign-up form. This form allows you to select your share size and pickup location, while also “forcing” you to read the terms so that you understand how the CSA works. If you encounter any issues, or you know someone who wants to signup, I have also placed the same link on our homepage at twobearfarm.com so you can find it there.

I hope you are all wintering well, and we’ll be in touch soon!