I thought I would share a moment from cucumber harvest for our family pickle company in 1946 in Skagit Valley, Washington. Everyone was part of harvest. It was a community event.
Fast forward to 2020 and the Washington hemp seed harvest.
It was early September of the year of COVID. It was hot and dry. There was a little more social distancing and more boots than barefoot in the field, but not much has changed. The community showed up – we had researchers from two universities, agronomists, farmers from two states, reps from the local grain coop, and us – making hemp seed coffee for the crew.
What is so exciting about being a pioneer in hemp grain (seeds) for food production is that everyone in it is still learning, and open to sharing while learning as a community, helping each other every step of the way. I have never seen this kind of community collaboration in other industries – usually it’s an in-it-for-oneself race to the most $$$.
There is something unique about growing and producing food. It’s not easy. Add to that being a pioneer in producing a food / ingredient that is new to our country… with a stigma. That said, our farmers have a shared understanding of the challenges of farming food, and when it comes to producing an ingredient that has not been grown on our soil in our lifetimes… they shrug and treat it like any other crop.
This particular group in the hemp field photo was not just here for one harvest. They are deeply invested in the future of hemp as a powerful healer for the health of our soils, our farmers, our food system, our communities, and our planet. It’s not an easy path to pave. In fact, it’s an uphill haul both ways. In the meantime, we will continue to educate and enlighten consumers to this great little seed. I am thrilled to be at the forefront of this moment and movement of building a better food system, even through one little seed. I hope you enjoy the ride as well.