Our Founder, Molly Rockamann, reflects on her journey to land-based work:
I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. Or an actress, or a beautician, or the first female president of the United States.
But never a farmer.
I didn’t know any farmers as a child.
I grew up in the suburbs of St. Louis, daughter of a teacher and an entrepreneur who made a living for his family selling t-shirts.
I had a Fisher Price barn with little plastic people and farm animals that I adored.
I have memories of my grandparents’ huge backyard garden full of cantaloupes and cauliflower, and I have vague recollections of a visit to my great uncle’s farm near Columbia
where there were hay fields, but no tomatoes.
We did have a small patch of tomato plants for a few summers.
I was 24 years old when I heard a woman say that she wanted to be a farmer because it was the most sacred work she could imagine.
Food. Sacred. Farming. Sacred.
Interesting, I thought.
Six years later I am surrounded by people who want to farm.
Teachers, actresses, webmasters, musicians, college grads, scientists, former cops, carpenters, HR managers, mothers, and fathers.
We gather to learn. To sow. To nurture. To fail. To thrive. To harvest. To market. To learn.
Al and Caroline Mueller had no children, but they have us.
We will keep the land sacred.
cold fingers and toes,
first tastes of delight,
hot sweaty long summer days,
frustration and panic,
bounty and bumper crops,
aromas and textures and sounds,
potato harvests and pea shoots,
carrot tops and alpaca poop in the compost pile,
tools of the trade,
tricks of other farmers,
early morning market set-ups and microbrews at Wednesday markets,
rewarding lessons and new friends,
laughter and singing and practical jokes.
I’m glad you are here. I’m glad I’m here. I’m glad we’re all here together.
I know many farmers now: urban, rural, part-time, full-time, experienced and beginners.
(I’m still beginning too.)
We’re all needed.
The earth is sick. People are sick.
Health begins in the soil.
Together we begin to eat the soil. And feed the earth. FARM ON!