End of Summer 2016 Reflection, by Farmer Dean

We are in full transition mode here at the urban farm. After a long hot and dry season exposed to the unrelenting elements, our summer vegetables are beginning to tire out. With cooler weeks expected ahead, our gardens will be getting a fresh new start as Autumn vegetables are sown and watered into place. It is always a big push to get everything planted before the sunlight fades away and as the Earth pushes past the fall equinox.
Autumn is my favorite season as it is a time for both reflection and celebration. As a farmer, it is a time when I can look back and think deeply about the farms successes and failures and dwell on the lessons Nature has tried to teach that season. Through time held festivities and traditions, fall is generally the season we come together to celebrate the collective joy and suffering that is synonymous with hard and meaningful work. Given that meaningful work is the foundation of CFET, our community has much to reflect and celebrate on.
CFET’s intensive eight week summer farming program has ended and eleven Youth Farmers have learned the sense of accomplishment that comes from spending long hard days outside working physically on the land. We have shed blood, sweat, tears and bee stings to help make fresh fruits and vegetables accessible to our community. With the guidance of the South Jersey Food Bank, our Youth have learned how easy and enjoyable it is to transform raw, farm fresh vegetables into tasty and healthful meals worth sharing with friends, family and neighbors. Together, we have explored issues related to agriculture and food systems, and discussed the many social, environmental and economic issues currently affecting our great City.
Our work is far from over and we have many new and exciting projects on the horizon for Fall. Seven Youth Farmers have committed to work with us through November and will continue to serve the land and their communities under the guidance of our programs. Fall is also the time for hot sauce making here at our Center, so please be on the look out for our signature line of hot sauce, KAPOW!, coming to you this November.
Happy Gardening,
Farmer Dean