Teresa Kurtak, Owner/Operator/Mother Extraordinaire

I was just trying to pick a couple of photos for this newsletter and realized I haven’t downloaded any photos from my camera since late December last year.  Since my last photo download so much has happened in the life of Fifth Crow and yet so much is constant.  The plants, the crops.. come and go with predictable cycles.  The unpredictability of weather and the oh so many factors that are out of our control are a consistency.

Our lives have changed and been so enriched with the addition of Eleanor, bornFeb 23 and as Charlie and Naima (John & Maggi’s daughter), are becoming more and more independent little people whose enthusiasm for each other and everything around them grow so do we as parents.  Parenthood is just as great as all the sappy Mother and Father’s Day mugs & cards make it out to be!  Ah, the life of a parent of small children.  The days are long and years are short.

I knew that I had missed filing a report this year for our egg production as it fell right around when the baby was due, so I asked Henry, our new Chicken Manager to follow up.  He e-mailed me to let me know that we apparently haven’t filed for 2014, 2015, or 2016.  Apparently since Charlie was born!  I really feel like I just filled out one of those reports… Thank goodness to have found people to help us.  Things are just now starting to feel a bit more doable as we’ve managed to fill 3 positions that were vacant last season, and hired on a couple more full time staff. Hopefully you will get to know a bit about each of them as they guest write here and there for the newsletter.

On our way to daycare this week, after the 3rd or 4th time I’d pulled over to check in with someone before we even left the farm gate, Charlie said with a sigh, “Mama, you talk to EVERYone.  Why do you have to talk to everyone?  First you talked to Raul, then to Lina, then to Emily, then to Gabby…”  I felt a twinge of guilt, and then a moment of pride in him as I realized he had patiently sat through it and that he knew the names of each person I’d spoken with.

It’s hard to believe that 8 years have gone by since we started the farm. The people we work with, some of whom have worked for us for 6 years or more, are truly family of sorts.  We just attended the Pescadero High School graduation last week.  Four of our employees had kids in the graduating class.  I was so proud of them.  All four are the first generation of their families to graduate from High School and (we hope) to go on to higher education.  Ramiro Garcia’s older sister Ari graduated a couple years ago, but the other three were the first ever in their families to graduate from high school. We’ve decided to give each a small scholarship for continuing education ($500 each this year, and $500 next year if they keep on in their studies).  Luckily I hadn’t had time to prepare a speech, cuz I probably would’ve lost it had I been able to stew on it a bit.  What a privilege we have to share in these moments.  As their families have supported us and grown our business, we hope that we (and our community) can support them and help them succeed in whatever futures they choose.

As organic farmers in such a progressive part of the country we get a lot of positive feedback for what we do, but for most of the people who work as farm workers this work is pretty thankless.  So much of the food we get at grocery stores for such affordable prices is weeded, picked, & packed by people who never get to meet the people eating the food, much less get a thank you for it.  We are so lucky to have customers who appreciate and thank us for the work we do.  I really hope these graduating kids appreciate how important and beautiful it is what their parents do.