How are we already in Nov??
2017 was one heck of a year for us. We started excitedly planting transplants in our greenhouse in Jan after finding out we were pregnant and due in Aug. From there we planted seed in the ground in our unheated high tunnels in feb and started harvesting field crops in April. We took on 2 amazing interns who worked their butts off prepping, planting, weeding, watering, harvesting, packing and selling delicious produce all season long. We got through the heat of the summer and still managed to produce beautiful greens and brassicas, something we had struggled with in past years. The end of summer was approaching and I thought to myself "this is the best year ever, the farm is growing and beautiful, we have amazing farmers to run it and a baby on the way!" And that was all true, we had all worked till our fingers were permanently rough and brown and backs solidly strong. Nothing could go wrong and nothing could get me down.
I got bigger and bigger with a growing baby and had a lot of fun waddling around the farm dreaming of teaching her to weed and plant. Our amazing Interns were all ready to take over for me when the baby came and prepared to run the farm in my absence for a week or so. My due date came and went and I walked around my house each day positive that 'today will be the day'! --6 days later--, our little girl Willa did finally show up. The birth was amazing, we brought her home the same day (birth centers are great that way :) ) and we rejoiced in our new family.
The next day our midwife came out to our home to check on the baby and I and noticed Willa had a loud heart murmur. She then failed the blood O2 test babies are given so we were sent to our doc who sent us to children for an echocardiogram. That was when we found out Willa had a congenital heart condition, tetralogy of fellot with pulmonary atresia.
Willa- 5 days old, day after heart surgery
with her "sunglasses" on
At 4 days old she had heart surgery and we then spent 2 weeks in recovery at children's in Minneapolis. it was a major emotional rollercoaster for us; first having a beautiful baby come into our lives, then to be told she needed heart surgery right away or we would loose her, then to slowly understand that she will have this condition her whole life and she will have several heart surgeries over time; one at 4 days old, another at 4 to 6 months old and then again at 8 to 12 years old, and ect. Thankfully Willa is a strong baby girl and healed well from her first surgery. We are anticipating the next sometime next spring.
Willa-4 weeks old
Our amazing interns become farm managers overnight and mastered a steep learning curve of running the farm while I was in the hospital with Willa. They have run the farm for me since sept and I am more than impressed with their work ethic, tenacity and compassion. I am so very thankful they were here at such a time; they allowed me to focus on my daughter and not worry about the fall CSA or wholesale or the day to day management duties.
This year has showed me how amazing people can be-our fabulous interns who are up for anything and give everyday their all; our incredible CSA and market members who offered to volunteer their time, prayed for our daughter, gave us many thoughtful gifts and most of all stuck with us while we struggled a bit to keep going. Our understanding wholesale customers who, even though we mostly have just a business relationship, sent cards and flowers and kept us in their prayers. We are so grateful to have these people surround us with love and compassion. These people who have helped build our farm, supported the farm season after season, and now when life put a boulder in our path, these people are helping us find a way around it.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for supporting our farm and our family this year, we love what we do and love that we get to share it with some of the most amazing people in the world. We are looking forward to planning our planting schedules this winter and are excited to see you all again next year!