New horizons, part II

The darkening November landscape …

This week is the final week of our 2017 CSA! Just in time, as the weather has definitely taken a turn toward the dark, cold, wet season that we call deep autumn or early winter. We still have our two holiday harvests, including next week’s Thanksgiving Holiday Harvest! I’ve posted a separate post with the availability list and ordering information here. And, you can sign up now for our 2018 CSA season here (more information below about season length)!

As we close this year, here at Oakhill Organics we are already deep in planning mode for 2018. As usual this means digging potatoes to store and signing folks up for the CSA and so on. But, we’re also looking even farther ahead, to fall of next year when things are going to change for us in a big way.

Ready for some surprising news? Casey has been accepted to Willamette Law School for next fall. Law school! Did you just fall off of your seat?

Here on the farm, this next step for our lives has been a slowly brewing inevitability. Casey has been itching to return to school for a couple of years now, but it took time to figure out what kind of further professional training he wanted and how we would make it work. The last year of seemingly extra intense national politics plus his own reading life have helped him narrow his focus to seeking a law degree. In our house, we often talk about what each person is “really into.” Right now Rusty is “really into” history. Casey is “really into” politics and law: reading “law blogs” (this is a thing?), attending oral hearings at the Oregon Supreme Court, interning and doing research for a lawyer friend, and generally geeking out over the intricate language of law and how the application of those laws (or lack thereof) has a real affect on people’s daily lives, their rights, and their access to opportunities in our country. We have also both been realizing that life is long, and we have many interests we want to pursue in addition to farming. There is time and room in life for multiple pursuits, and law school is the next one for Casey.

It certainly helped the decision making process to realize that Willamette Law School is one of the closest graduate schools (of any kind!) to our home and offers a part-time option. Both of these features mean that we don’t have to uproot our whole lives for this opportunity. Casey is going to start next August part-time, and we have about nine months to figure out exactly how to accommodate the new endeavor on the farm and in our family. We’ve already had several long discussions about what this could look like — what is sustainable and/or desirable for Casey and the whole family.

As a starting point for that process, we’ve decided to sign everyone up for a shorter starter season to begin with in 2018: a 20-week winter/spring season that will run from January 18 through May 31. We will decide early next year whether that season will be followed by a summer/fall season. We’ll let you know what we decide with plenty of time for people to make other plans if needed for those seasons, but we feel like we need to be a little closer to this big change to better understand how it will work for us.

Either way, we are looking forward to our 2018 winter/spring season — our 13th season as a CSA (our “farmer’s dozen,” I am calling it!). As always, you’ll have a wide range of seasonal vegetables, some from our storage rooms and others from the fields: winter squash, potatoes, kale, cabbages, sunchokes, chard, carrots, and so much more!

And, in the interim, our family will enjoy a few weeks of a break, much of which will be spent “doing” the holidays with our friends and family. Between Thanksgiving, Rusty’s birthday, and Christmas, we end up with a lot of different wonderful gatherings to attend and plan.

We hope that you too have a joyful holiday season ahead of you. As we go into this dark season, there can be so much love … and also sometimes so much sadness. We always aim to hold both realities in our hearts and prayers, knowing that this season can be very hard for people experiencing loss or struggling with depression.

This weekend, we hosted our homeschooling co-op out on the farm for a fall lantern walk. The children all made little tissue paper on glass lanterns, which we lit with safe LED tea lights, and we walked through our fields in the darkness singing. The point is to remember how even a small light can guide our way through the darkness. If we can find even a small source of light in our lives, it may not make the darkness disappear, but we can walk through it.

The darkness is certainly gathering outside my windows now, putting to bed a day when it felt as the sun barely came up. It’s a sign of the continuing turning in the yearly seasons, and for us a sign of the continuing turn in the seasons of life too.

So much love and gratitude to all of you as we end this year’s season!!!! Enjoy this week’s vegetables!

Your farmers, Katie & Casey Kulla

P.S. Looking for our CSA sign-up? It’s here. Looking for the Holiday Harvest information? That’s here!

P.P.S. Wondering what might be next for me, Katie, in this midst of Casey’s new pursuit? In 2018, I plan to lock myself in our cabin one whole day a week with writing materials (and no internet) and see what happens!

~ ~ ~

McMinnville Women’s Choir Winter Concert

Looking for a seasonal concert to ring in the holidays? Join the McMinnville Women’s Choir for our annual winter concert on Saturday, December 9 at the McMinnville Co-op Ministries’ Great Room (544 NE 2nd St, McMinnville). We’ll have two performances, one at 3 pm and 7 pm. Tickets are on sale now at Oregon Stationers.

I have been singing in this choir for several years now, alongside many current and former CSA members. Our winter concerts are not your typical “holiday fare.” We’ll sing a wide range of songs from different faith traditions, cultures and languages. We sing of the diversity of the human experience, including the darker parts of this season with the joyous parts too. Join us for songs and storytelling!

~ ~ ~

Meet this week’s vegetables:

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Seasonal salad mix
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Delicata winter squash
  • Pie pumpkins
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Butternut squash
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • German butterball potatoes
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One Response to New horizons, part II

  1. David Sellers says:

    Congratulations on the big changes in your lives! Casey, I can see clearly the law and politics in your future. My suggestion is to go through law school full time and full speed, if it’s possible home-wise and financially, then continue (because you will already have started) making your mark in the political world. And Katie, write and write and write! And take the occasional photo, too. Love to you both and to the children, too. David

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