Jim, Rebecca, and Fiona
California pastured pork experts and farm pirates arrived unexpectedly and lend a hand all over the farm: repairing roofs, barn doors and carts, weeding, and making dinners spiced with wonderful conversation and good humor. Learn more at blog: honestmeat.com

Sometimes it takes a village to feed a farm. Backwards as that may sound, the truth is that farms depend on the goodwill of friends – and strangers – much more than you might think. Green Gate certainly does, and this past few months we have been blessed with so many helping hands we probably shouldn’t single them all out, lest we forget a few.

There are times on farms when the farmers gets overwhelmed: nature throws a couple nasty punches (this year they have come in the form of freezes, drought, and bug infestations), too many things break down at once (i.e, cracked pumps and water lines, tractor, van, wiring system), sickness or injury forces you to lose a week of work (strained back, allergies), growing pains push you past the limit of what seems possible (new barn, greenhouse, fences, roads, etc.).

Just when you think you can’t keep up, never mind get ahead, somebody comes down that long dusty drive and offers relief. Those somebodies are true friends of the farm, arriving as if we special ordered them from a catalogue that specializes in farmer husbandry. They don’t all come from a single village, although most live or have lived in Austin. They are often some of the busiest people we know, somehow finding an extra hour from their busy schedules. And they also share another trait – helping others makes them feel good; helping farmers makes them feel even better.

I like to think we are living in a special time, when farmers are much more appreciated than in previous generations. Yet I know from my grandparents’ stories that farms have always been busy places, forever depending on extra hands to get through the harvest, to heal the body, or fix the broken things.

This “feeding” of the farm and the farmer is as miraculous and essential as the food that grows from the ground. It’s what keeps us going when the going gets too tough. To all of you who have lent a hand this year, we thank you many times over. You are keeping that Green Gate green.