I can’t quite believe it myself, but the 2020 Soil Sisters Luscious Farm Calendar is actually here. If creating the 2019 calendar was a minor miracle, than I don’t know what completing this years is. Maybe an astrological anomaly? Saturn just happened to pass into the house of Aquarius and the moon was waxing to almost full and the dog barked at quarter past eleven, just as Venus came into alignment with a small northern California foothills town – and voilà, the calendar became a reality. Even if that’s not what happened, it might as well have been, ’cause that’s how likely it is to successfully put together a creative project with a toddler in the house.
I’m actually proud that it is here. Not because I managed to take 12 photos and edit them and all the other details to transform them into a calendar, but because there were so many moments along the way when I really doubted myself. I held myself to the ridiculously high standards about what kind of photos I needed. I worried that spending too much time making this thing would take me away from being with my daughter. I had moments when I thought, who even cares about art, there are so many other pressing issues to deal with on our planet and in our too-full lives, why make a calendar of a bunch of naked farmers, why even take photos in the first place?
But luckily years of living creatively have clued me in to that particular brand of soul-crushing inner-critic speak, so I just pushed through and made it anyways. This is the fourth year of the calendar, and like a fine wine, I think the project as a whole is maturing with time. I mean, its still naked, local farmers (although I do believe the median age has risen over time). But the 2020 vintage brings some brand new vegetables (Ginger! Stinging Nettle!), new farmers (I never tell), and some novel compositions and subject matter. It’s an earthy almanac, with a full, fleshy body, and a strong floral aroma that hints of shishito peppers, marigolds, and rotting pumpkin. Avant garde to say the least.
I have so many folks to thank for this year’s calendar. Firstly, my fellow farmers. You guys are amazing. I love how you trust me to make you look awesome (it’s not hard), and I really enjoy how much fun we have together in the process. Thank you for your willingness and great spirit, not to mention for growing incredibly healthy, delicious food and flowers for our community. Thank you Josh, for supporting me in doing this while you continue to juggle your own book, our daughter, and life in general. Daily I think about how nothing would be possible without you. And to Willow, my amazing farm partner, who in the past two years has stepped up to not only keep our farm running but has really improved our business and our fields. I’m so grateful to have you in my life and for all your support as I have been navigating motherhood, farming, and living a creative life. Also the brothers over at Grass Valley Printers. I have no idea how they do so many people’s print jobs, with a seemingly endless stack of projects on the counter, plus 4 toddlers thrown in the mix (as in, literally in the office many mornings a week), and still get everything dialed for folks. Thank you for working with me these last few years and executing my vision on to the paper. And lastly, thank you for those people who at varying points this year asked, with hopeful expressions on their faces, “are you going to make a calendar this year?” It really helped inspire me to do it. Putting a creative project out to the world is a vulnerable affair, at least that’s my experience. It feels good to know that there are those of you who really look forward to having my calendar on their wall for the year. You are probably the same people who have actually read this far into this post. So thank you.
And other than that, please visit my website www.lusciousfarmers.com and purchase the calendar (or prints!). Buy it for your friends, your family, and that white elephant gift exchange you have to do at Christmas time and you never can find anything cool for $20 of under. It will be a hit in all of those situations. Buy it for your office, for your mother-in-law, as a gift for someone you are visiting this winter who farms/aspires to farm/aspires to aspire to farm.
Thanks for enjoying, and for your support, and I hope you all have a lovely 2020.