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Farming Through the Climate Emergency

There used to be fog here. Growing up, my family’s land in Sebastopol, California was swampy in the winter and wet with dewdrops on summer mornings. When I started farming here 12 years ago, I relished the cool mornings that meant rows of lush broccoli, blood-red beets, and crunchy lettuces all summer long. I would spend half the day tending the soil under grey skies, wearing long sleeves to keep warm as much as to keep the sun off my skin. Back then, there used to be fog.

I founded Red H Farm on a shoestring in 2009, privileged to have access to an acre of soil. The farm sits low in the landscape and it used to flood every winter. That time of year, my boots would sink shin-deep in the muck. A seasonal pond fills up when it rains, and usually remains home to a deafening chorus of frogs every night from December through April.