Farm Friday, May 12th, 2023

If you could smell this photo…

Andrew Gaertner
3 min readMay 13


Plum blossoms. The scent is intoxicating. All photos by the author.

This week was a big week. On Monday we hosted 50 junior high students on the farm for a day of work and exploration. My group spent 2 hours loading plants into a 26-foot U-haul truck. We built levels into the truck with plywood and 2x4s, so it gave us four layers of plants — literally thousands of dollars worth of plants loaded and labeled and ready to sell.

When I was driving into the city on Tuesday, I felt every bump. But the plants all made it and, by all accounts, we had a successful sale (we had parent volunteers who managed the actual distribution of the plants). Then on Wednesday, a class of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders came out for a three-day visit. We had a lot of fun with those kiddos and it was a great change from all the junior high adolescent angst energy. Highlights include an epic hike where we discovered a decomposing deer carcass and lots of good work projects with pitchforks and wheelbarrows.

Peak Dandelion season
Buttons of pheasant back mushroom
Pheasant back in full flush. This one is edible when young.
Full greenhouse before the sale
The full truck
Happy camper with the truck unloaded and swept out.
We bottled syrup on Monday
The lore says we should look for morels when the oak leaves are the size of squirrels ear.
Birch catkins

In writing news, I published a response to the person who criticized my can you please shut up about white supremacy essay. One of his points was that he has yet to see someone describe how racism harms white people, despite it being a constant talking point for white liberal writers like me. I get what he is saying. It is sort of like a Democrat saying that working-class Republicans are voting against their own interests. It feels patronizing on all fronts. I went after the question anyway. I think most white people are harmed by race and racism. It doesn’t mean we don’t get benefits from the bargain — just that there are costs to going along with the lie of race. My essay is sort of on a slow-burn trajectory at this point, so we will see — I notice that essays about race can get people talking.



Andrew Gaertner

To live in a world of peace and justice we must imagine it first. For this, we need artists and writers. I write to reach for the edges of what is possible.