THANKFUL FOR FARMERS: MATTHEW MARTIN, PYRAMID FARMS
This week I am thankful for good food, and the many souls who grow it for us all year long – around the world, really, but This week we explore life on a small organic and integrated family farm of humans, plants, other animals, and soil living with their seasons, and providing fresh produce year round for their own region.
Since 1997 Matthew Martin and his Pyramid Farms, which since 2004 has included his wife Lisa Carle, have been bringing tasty organic produce throughout the seasons to the Northstate of Interior Northern California. As Matthew and Lisa say – you can taste the love. And I’m thankful for that.
I caught up with Matthew earlier this year and am so pleased to welcome him to the program in a week of thanks and when Pyramid Farms produce sales from the Chico Farmers Markets go to the benefit of the his local school garden programs.
They are an example of the small, environment and human minded people who make good food possible. I am thankful for them – wherever they farm and grow us all. In 2021, Matthew wrote the 4 part Sense of Place column for Edible Shasta Butte describing life on the farm in four seasons.
Pyramid Farm grows food, soil, community, young farmers, and an economy we can live with – whoever your local farmers are, thank them this week, will you?
You can follow Pyramid Farms online at: www.humansandnature.org/ and on Instagram at @humansandnature
You can follow Rowen White's work online at: sierraseeds.org/ and on Instagram at @rowenwhite
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Thinking out loud this week:
I think this is the perfect follow up to last week’s conversation on Kinship with Gavin Van Horn and Rowen White, because we truly are what we eat and while I’m grateful for the produce in my garden, I am deeply mindful of the many many lives who grow all the food I can’t.
Matthew’s most amazing almost year round sweet delicious carrots remind me of poet Ross Gay’s reverie examining the relationship between kind and kin and his deep love of carrots and other kinds of lives and loves of this autumn into winter harvest season.
I love Pyramid Farms carrots, I look for them and long for them at my local natural grocers. But there is something about knowing that as a farmer and a human Matthew not only takes care of his soil, but also of his crew, and more than that even of his local slow food and school gardens and edible education programs – that makes those carrots and the buying of them a whole other bigger better more interdependent and connected kinship kind of an action.
In 2021, Matthew took extra time to write the 4 part seasonal Sense of Place column for Edible Shasta Butte – our regional Edible Communities publication founded by Candace Byrne and Earl Bloor.
In the winter column Matthew wrote: "Winter’s shorter days and longer nights are a respite for the farmers here in the Northstate. The hot, sweaty, long, grueling days of the summer growing season are over, the cooler fall season has passed with its shortening days, and we hope the rain starts falling, recharging the soil with water and energy.
Here at Pyramid Farms, our farm runs year round, but winter is when we can rest a bit more, rejoice a bit more, sleep a bit more. Don`t get me wrong, I love all the seasons and all the different work flows and crops they bring, but after twenty-three years of farming, the farmer writing this gets tired and burnt out a little sooner in the year than when I was younger, so winter is a sweet relief. The crew here, although much younger than Lisa or me, bust their butts all spring, summer, and fall, so shorter days are a relief to their tired bodies, and they smile when we push our start time back because of later sunrises.
Carrots are not just food for your belly; they mean year-round employment for the crew, sparing them another job to get them through the winter. I pride myself on providing steady, year-round work for the wonderful young people who farm with us.
Digging carrots in the rain with ten pounds of mud stuck to your boots and another couple of pounds stuck to your rain gear sure beats slinging coffee. [no offense to barristas the world over, but a farmer's a farmer...]
We’ve seen farmers come and go at market, and market grow and improve greatly. We love growing food and flowers for our community and look forward to seeing you at market for many years to come. Lisa and I do love farming, and the demands it asks of us melt away when we get to see all of our customers" delighting in and being nourished by fresh locally grown produce.
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