Top 5 Takeaways from this Growing Season

As always, the end of the year is a time of reflection. This year is no different. It’s one of the few times of the year where I feel some space to reflect not only on the growing season, but on the bigger picture vision of what I am trying to do in my life. This was a year that tested us; it gave us a pandemic, wildfires in the west, an extremely divided country, and calls for racial and social justice.

I can’t begin to describe the loss, grief, sadness and frustration that has hit us all in 2020. For some, it has been almost unbearable. For others, it’s been an opportunity to take stock of what’s important and to evaluate how we want to contribute to a better world.

Regardless of where you’ve fallen on the spectrum, as we near the end of a very challenging and unprecedented year, I wanted to share a few things with you:

First, I wanted to thank you for your support of my business over the past year. Whether it’s been watching my videos, reading my blog posts, participating in work parties, doing 1:1 consultations with me, or joining my new Resilient Homestead Program, I have been heartened by the increasing interest in growing food and becoming more self-reliant. As you’ve heard me say before, I think it’s one of the most important acts we can be taking during these times.

Second, I wanted to share my video with you today. In it, I reflect on the Top 5 Takeaways from this Growing Season. Like I mention in the video, it’s always good to take stock of your previous growing season as a way of planning for the year ahead. Some of my takeaways are things you’ll want to keep in mind as you plan your spring 2021 garden. Click below to watch it. Then, I’d love it if you shared lessons from your gardening season by sharing them in the comments below.

Lastly, the new year is a time for renewal.

I’ve been hearing the expression, “when things get back to normal” a lot. But in our rush to get back to “normal”, let’s remember that normal wasn’t that great. “Normal” gave us soil degradation, water pollution, ecosystem collapse, species extinction, and a nation where 42% of the population is obese but over 11 million children live in food insecure homes.

Instead, what if we didn’t go back to normal? What if 2021 were truly a renewal, the beginning of a better way to live in this world?

Even before 2020, I’ve asked myself this question, “how do we change from a culture of consumption and scarcity to a culture of reciprocity, abundance, food-growing, and community-building?”

I don’t think there are any easy answers and there’s definitely no quick fix.

But I keep coming back to a quote by Terry Tempest Williams that has inspired me for years,

“Finding beauty in a broken world is creating beauty in the world that we find.”

As we move into 2021, I invite you to unapologetically create beauty in this broken world.

May we plant gardens and food forests, create pollinator habitat, build birdhouses, bake bread, paint pictures, write poetry, and build community. May we find ways in which to consume less and share more; compare less and collaborate more; argue less and connect more; talk less and listen more.

Let’s take this opportunity to reinvent a better way to exist on this planet and forge a different path forward.

My very best to you and your family in 2021.