As we look to yuletide celebrations and the year's end draws closer, so it always seems to be a time to reflect back all on that has happened in the last year. Though we must acknowledge that there has been much hardship, there has also been much light. It has be a time for learning, slowness, strength, support, camaraderie and love. It has been a time for us to focus in on our small communities, and notice things we perhaps hadn't noticed before. As the winter creeps in and the uncertainty is prolonged, it is even more vital now that we remember all that has illuminated itself in these troubling times and continue to support one another unwaveringly.
In the process of crop planning for our next season, it is now that we're really feeling grateful for our small community of agroecological farmers, with whom we share our tried and tested methods, biggest failures, and ask endless questions throughout the season, such as: "where on earth can I buy compostable salad bags that don't cost half the price of the salad itself?" (the answer is nowhere, yet!), "how do you clean the very top of the poly tunnel that seems impossible to reach?", and "how do you price this vegetable that has been seeded, planted, watered and weeded for the last 7 months, without seeming insane?". Our group also shares bulk orders of equipment so that we can collectively get a better price, has monthly farm tours and discussions (when we're not in lock down), and generally connects us with a community of similarly exhausted farmers who just get it.
We feel so very lucky to have this community and none of it would be possible for us if it wasn't for organisations like the Land Workers' Alliance who connect farmers, growers, foresters and land-based workers through a union run by us. Together, we work for a food and land-use system where everybody, regardless of income, status or background has access to local, healthy, affordable food, fuel and fibre from producers they can trust and where land-based workers earn a living wage and a fair livelihood. Please consider supporting the Land Workers' Alliance this Christmas by purchasing their completely stunning annual calendar, created from original lino-cut prints by the incredible Rosanna Morris.