Learning from the land

Posted on Feb 25 2014 - 1:53pm by Sarah Bracy Penn
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Photo story by Sarah Bracy Penn

It all begins with healthy, fertile soil.  Morning dew glistens on a red cabbage plant just before the Harvest Day begins.  Shot on December 3, 2013.  Photo by Sarah Bracy Penn

It all begins with healthy, fertile soil. Morning dew glistens on a red cabbage plant just before the Harvest Day begins. Shot on December 3, 2013. Photo by Sarah Bracy Penn

Yokna Bottoms hosts volunteers of World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, or “woofers” for short.  Woofer Corey Schattgen, 20, of Missouri, displays a fresh picked savoy cabbage before loading it in the truck.  Shot on November 18, 2013.  Photo by Sarah Bracy Penn.

Yokna Bottoms hosts volunteers of World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, or “woofers” for short. Woofer Corey Schattgen, 20, of Missouri, displays a fresh picked savoy cabbage before loading it in the truck. Shot on November 18, 2013. Photo by Sarah Bracy Penn.

Fresh picked produce loaded in the truckbed.  Shot on November 18, 2013. Photo by Sarah Bracy Penn.

Fresh picked produce loaded in the truckbed. Shot on November 18, 2013. Photo by Sarah Bracy Penn.

Yokna Bottoms Production Manager Jeff Stone washes spinach leaves before packing them away for CSA members.  Shot on November 18, 2013.  Photo by Sarah Bracy Penn.

Yokna Bottoms Production Manager Jeff Stone washes spinach leaves before packing them away for CSA members. Shot on November 18, 2013. Photo by Sarah Bracy Penn.

Schattgen displays a red radish, still moist from washing.  Shot on November 18, 2013.  Photo by Sarah Bracy Penn.

Schattgen displays a red radish, still moist from washing. Shot on November 18, 2013. Photo by Sarah Bracy Penn.

Lettuce, bagged and weighed, along with bound radishes and carrots, ready for CSA distribution.  Shot on November 18, 2013.  Photo by Sarah Bracy Penn.

Lettuce, bagged and weighed, along with bound radishes and carrots, ready for CSA distribution. Shot on November 18, 2013. Photo by Sarah Bracy Penn.

Schattgen packs boxes for the CSA distribution to shareholders. A recipe sheet is included in each CSA delivery, guiding members on how to make the most of their CSA share.  Shot on November 19, 2013.  Photo by Sarah Bracy Penn.

Schattgen packs boxes for the CSA distribution to shareholders. A recipe sheet is included in each CSA delivery, guiding members on how to make the most of their CSA share. Shot on November 19, 2013. Photo by Sarah Bracy Penn.

For all of the triumphs Yokna Bottoms has experienced in organic produce farming, the farm has also seen its share of challenges.  “We’ve probably had bigger losses over the past two years because we’ve been growing a lot more,” Davis said.  The team raises a flock of Rhode Island Red chickens and sells the eggs at local farmers markets.  “We do a lot of different things at a lot of different times, so if something does happen with the crops, we still have other things available,” he said.  Shot on November 19, 2013.  Photo by Sarah Bracy Penn.

For all of the triumphs Yokna Bottoms has experienced in organic produce farming, the farm has also seen its share of challenges. “We’ve probably had bigger losses over the past two years because we’ve been growing a lot more,” Davis said. The team raises a flock of Rhode Island Red chickens and sells the eggs at local farmers markets. “We do a lot of different things at a lot of different times, so if something does happen with the crops, we still have other things available,” he said. Shot on November 19, 2013. Photo by Sarah Bracy Penn.