Autumn is always a time of change and transition, especially for farmers. The harvest peaks, the weather cools, summer crops die, and cool season crops flourish. I, for one, LOVE fall! This fall is a particularly special fall for me because River City Farm is going through a big change: a bittersweet ending and an exciting new beginning.
Throughout my three years growing veggies in Lewiston, Idaho at River City Farm, I have built a successful business, grown a TON of produce, made a million mistakes and, most importantly, found an amazingly vibrant and supportive community.
Though I have LOVED my time at River City Farm, it has been an impermanent and unsustainable arrangement from the beginning. I was growing on an acre of rented land with no room for expansion, city regulations prohibiting animal production, without out a farming partner and without a long-term plan. As I fell in love with farming and the Palouse began to feel like home, I struggled with how to make my farming dreams come true without leaving the community I had come to love. The answer came at the beginning of June in the form of another local Palouse veggie farmer.
Adam Reed started Moscow Urban Farm in 2014 on a half acre of rented land where he grew sustainable veggies for a CSA, restaurants, and farmers market. I met Adam and his fiance, Carly through the Palouse restaurant/farming scene and we quickly became friends. Adam and I often commiserated over the many challenges of farming, especially farming solo. So when Adam asked me if I was interested in becoming his farming and business partner on his recently purchased 30 acres of undeveloped farmland, I was thrilled!
Next year, we are starting with 2 1/2 acres in production including a greenhouse, two hoophouses, and a caterpillar tunnel. We’ll operate a 60 member CSA, sell at the Moscow Farmers Market, and continue to supply produce to local restaurants and the Food COOP. We’re also expanding our flock of laying hens and hoping to raise a couple of pigs! (A longtime dream of mine)!
Our long term plans for Victory Farm are big, messy pipe dreams full of cattle herds, orchards, farm weddings, pizza dinners, figs in the greenhouse, and a fleet of electric tractors. All crazy, impossible, impractical dreams that just might come true…we’ll all just have to wait and see!
So in this season of exciting and tumultuous change I am grounded in and so grateful for my community, my roots. I could not have done this without all of you; this amazing web of family, friends, CSA members, Kickstarter backers, restaurant owners, teachers, employers, farm stand customers, neighbors, foodies, extension agents, and eaters.
Thank you for grounding me, supporting me, challenging me and believing in me. Because there is no way that I can express my gratitude in words, I will have to grow it into every root and every leaf and every fruit.
I hope that our work at Victory Farm can continue to bind our community together through good food, good people, and good soil.