Before the calendar clicks into a new year it always seems like time stands still. A flood of memories comes trickling down as you look back at another year. A little bit of “oh God time flies,” “we didn’t get to that” or “wow we are so blessed” pops up in our thoughts. Here on the homestead we seem to measure ourselves by the growing season. Our reflections are often tied to the land and our farm goals.
In 2021 we had quite the experience as we completed our first year of parenthood, gathered our biggest harvest ever, took over managing the farm business from our partners, hosted our community garden gatherings, rocked our 8th annual Halfway to Harmony, live broadcasted a community dinner (during world localization day) and even hosted another beautiful wedding on the land. We raised two flocks of Tree-Range® Chickens in our silvopasture paddocks. We hosted 40 goats in the forest for invasive species control. We harvested 1,000 pounds of hazelnuts. We planted more native flowers and rain garden plants. We grew an abundant garden, picked our first crop of Aronia berry and planted some Basswood and Birch trees. We also planted the seeds for some epic elderberry and hazelnut processing equipment (more on that to come) and a future commercial kitchen on the farm. We spent our year applying for grants, forming partnerships, honing our craft, capturing our story, connecting on networking sites, creating videos, attending webinars and conferences and finding time to enjoy the sweetness of the land.
These accomplishments are the fruits of a thousand small tasks across the land for us. Taking care of such a vast property and juggling the pressure of sharing our story on social media and our website can be a blessing and a heavy gift to lift. We can’t say it’s always easy, but it is always fulfilling. It is our walk, our karmic path to give and receive on this land. And as the solstice settles in and we gather to celebrate, it’s important we reflect on these accomplishments, not only for ourselves, but as a way to praise each and every one of you for your continued dedication to this land and our mission – to empower leaders for a regenerative future. We may be the ones on the land every day, walking this path and telling this story, but we recognize the interconnection of all life and the energy that we receive from our beloved community as we find our place here.
Many of you join us for the garden gatherings and events. Some of you even help us out for special projects throughout the week. Some of you just follow along online. A select few are even paying members of our membership platform and are helping us out with regular contributions. Some of you are local. Some of you are from afar, but most of you, as my dad likes to joke, "must be from Minneapolis."
What a great thing to be so close to family and to have friends who get to enjoy time online and on the land with us. What a joy to be raising a family and to have roots on this land, to have this deep connection. To have this space be accessible and to gather on. To have community. It never ceases to amaze us how many people take the time out of their busy lives to help us in our garden. I say "our garden," but we don’t own this land, this land is borrowed from the next generations to come. We should honor it that way and we should honor those who came before us too, including the Wahpekute people, the Dakota and Anishanabe who inhabited this land before us. The Wahpekute were forest people. They lived amongst the big woods and along the waterways that stood and flowed here long before we plowed it under and colonized, commodified and “took control” of it. I envy them. For even though they had their war and struggle too, they got the chance to live amongst this land in its pristine state, not that long ago.
So thank them, thank you and most of all thank those who will come after us. Especially, as we face this climate crisis, and a societal collapse of our own with new age technology that is moving faster than we can adapt and taking from the Earth more than she can handle. We live this existence not amidst a fully thriving ecosystem like our ancestors, but rather a broken one, in desperate need of healing. However, we still have an opportunity to leave it better than we found it. We still have an opportunity to share in it’s beauty and abundance. We can still gather as a community around the fire, the earth, the water, the air and co-create a better world. We are creators of culture and people in an active role of reconciliation with our past. We step forward toward regeneration. We march in peace and open the door to a new way. We explore the history of the land and adapt to its ways as we reintroduce ancient practices and discover, uncover and recover a better way. Yes, we stare deep into the technological machine for answers, but our gaze always goes back to the earth. Our work is always and has always been fueled by the sun's rays, the rain dropping, the winds of change and the processes of life. Real life. We can not deny it. We can not run from it. We can only run toward it. It is our only option. So thank you for walking with us at the Organic Compound in 2021. Thank you for running toward the earth and toward each other. We will see you for a cycle anew in 2022.
Keep an eye out for our 2022 event schedule, more videos this winter and more good times this spring. If you are interested in supporting our growth and the stories we share, join our evolving online community garden, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, sign up for our email list and visit our website.
Many Thanks and Happy New Year!
Your friends at the Organic Compound