July 31, 2022
It’s hard to believe we are stepping into August, a favorite and very busy month for us. August seems to be the crescendo of growth in the garden along with a busy schedule of farm dinners and events. In August, everything is in bloom. Everything is showing off the glory of the hidden work underneath and behind the scenes.
Tomatoes started the first week of March are now ripening and turning from their camouflaged green to all the unabashed colors heirloom tomatoes offer. Our Shishito Peppers - a favorite pop of flavor throughout dinner – are prolific and ready to be picked and blistered on the plancha! The new flock of layers (chickens) are finally producing. They were hatched in February and just now starting to do their intended thang!
The farm is constantly a hands-on illustration of life. I’m grateful that my hands are in the dirt able to glean valuable life lessons while growing good food. It all starts with a keen eye of faith, selecting and planting the seed based on what I want to enjoy later down the road. The seed doesn’t represent at all what I hope to see in the future, but I must drop it in that soil if I’m ever gonna find out. Once in the dirt, it’s hidden, doing a work I cannot see. I only trust and leave growth to Growth. I do my part in the process but I cannot make anything grow. I just continue to give that seed, now plant, what it needs to develop, nurturing it along because I want the fruit. Like tomatoes and peppers, carrots, eggplant and so many vegetables, the process from seed to harvest is around 100 days! If at any time I were to give up and stop nurturing, August wouldn’t be as delicious!
I love that in life there is a grace that works deeper than the rhythm and laws of farming food. In the Land of the Living, Grace says that while you still have breath, there are many Augusts. It is never too late to start, to stop, to be, to say and to do what you need to do to reap a good harvest.
I hope to see many of you over the next four weeks on the farm and around the table! Oh, and come see the gardens - they're gorgeous!
Until next week,
Mrs. Farmer Jones
We hosted our second session of Farm Camp last week for kids 11 years to 16 years of age. What an incredible week and the evening with all their family gathered was magical! Here's a message from our Camp and Educational Director, Vincent. He'll be contributing each week to this newsletter. Below is an introduction and a bit of his story:
After 5 years of commuting from Springfield, Missouri to Grant Park Illinois to direct and organize Locavore Kids' Camp, the call came in from my sister, Rachael Jones, offering me a full-time position as Education Director of Locavore Farm. I saw God was at work, and my family wanted to get involved.
I am a certified teacher, and received my Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University. I taught fourth and fifth grade children in public school for ten years, and spent the last two years as a homeschool teacher and youth pastor for my church in Missouri.
I hungered for an opportunity to educate children in the areas I saw lacking in conventional education systems. Meanwhile, my amazing wife, Valerie, is a wound care nurse and had been offered a job and eventually accepted a position at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. My passion for children, experience in education, and my love for God's creation and being blessed with a wife that craves adventure as much as I do, has prepared me for this position. But, it seemed like God had ordained this move two years ago, when we began the process of adopting two children. We finalized the adoption of Renee (14) and Matthew (9) in January of this year, and made a promise to them that they would not be split up from their other two siblings Haylee (15) and Sharon (7). So, while moving here was not only an opportunity of a lifetime for Valerie and I, it also fulfilled a promise that we made to our adopted children that we would one day unite their siblings again.
I moved to the house at the original Locavore Farm location in April with Matthew followed by my wife, Valerie, and daughters Renee, Victoria (9), and Vivienne (7) in June. Together, we have been involved in the good work of establishing Sumac Creek.
This past Friday, July 29th, we celebrated our second week-long camp at Sumac Creek. Standing outside with a mic in hand, I took a moment to take it all in. There, I marveled at the sunset, the 100+ foot table, the firepit, the beautiful property. But, what really overwhelmed me was seeing the smiles of the families with their children and friends celebrating the good work that they accomplished together. I took a moment to thank God. I'm home! I'm involved in a good work! And I am thrilled to be here! Please stay tuned for the day camps, after school program, and field trip opportunities that I hope to organize and administer this school year.
Education Director at Locavore Farm
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