Yesterday reminded me of the old adage about judging books .... At least a few times a month we are reminded that there are no "real farms" (or farmers) in South San Diego. Yesterday was one of them. And no matter how much I know in my heart and logical brain that is not true it grates at me every time. I can spout off the code section numbers and vergabe of local, state and federal definitions categorizing us as a farm. The multiple permits and licenses we have, the Unions we are a farm members of and the various old school large acreage dirt farmers who have visited us and been immensely impressed by our "farm"...not our back yard garden....not our finger quoted farm.... our farm. But I never stop to say any of that. Fast forward to last night, at a conference I cynically and silently questioned the trade booth marketing... Farm to Bottle, oh pahhhhllleeess, how are you growing your own prickley pear in Canada!? Must be green washing, eye roll level 9. The rep must have read my mind, because he stopped me and asked if he could tell me a bit about their company. I instantly blurted out that I didn't believe their marketing. Asking...ok basically demanding he prove it. The rep, Collin, completely stopped for a minute, then smiled, and began to tell me about their barley farm, the spruce tips they forge and the prickly pear that grows along the mountain ridge near their farm. How their founder, a farmer and entrepreneur revitalized his old family farm and how they now grow and forge what they bottle. They are farmers. It hit me walking away that I had questioned this farmer the same way I feel questioned, that maybe I'm judged because I judge. Maybe it's just that little inkling of self doubt that all of us feel and project on to the world. And sometimes, like yesterday, we are luckily enough to have a mirror held up for us to reflect. Thank you Collin, your gin, story and insight was amazing. Stepheni ~Dickinson Farm
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