This year I published a project I've wanted to do for a long time: all that goes on in the course of a day on the farm I worked on for four years. Titled "One Long Day on Goranson Farm," my photo essay and writing ran in this year's Maine Farms Journal.
I'll be sharing a complete version here over the next weeks, with plans to hang a show of these images at the Goranson Farm stand in the spring. Working backwards, here's the morning of Saturday, September 8th:
"They're subdividing it. I just got an email. The adjacent farm."
Jan’s parents bought their tract of silty riverbottom in 1960, and stewardship of this peninsula in Merrymeeting Bay was as much an imperative as feeding the community in her decision to continue the work when she took over the farm. Jan and Rob’s sons Carl and Göran decided years ago that they wanted to keep the farm going, too, but as neighboring farmers retire, the question of what will happen to the rest of the open land along the Kennebec and Eastern Rivers hangs in the balance.
Jan has already loaded her market truck with totes from the walk-in cooler. She's finishing a few invoices for wholesale deliveries before starting the hour drive to Portland.
Jan is hefting full totes off of the truck in Deering Oaks Park in Portland. This is her fourth market morning of the week.
"Oh my god,
what is that?
Feels like rocks.
Must be tateys!
"Yep, tateys. When I’m old and lose my brain, I tell them, just bring me to market. I’ll open the totes with no idea what’s in them. It’ll be like Christmas every day!”
This market and the simultaneous Bath Farmers’ Market are the last two of the farm’s five weekly markets. Jan will sell what they harvested yesterday until at least 1pm, and what she earns in sales today will go straight back into offsetting the costs of running the farm: paychecks for almost twenty full-time employees, utility bills, fuel and grease for tractors and trucks and irrigation pumps, packing supplies, cover crop seed, animal feed, organic sprays, machine and greenhouse repairs, and maybe a little ice cream for the crew.
Jan reaches to hang the last of her signs as the first customers of the day filter around her tables.
“Ready set? Here we go…”