Farm Friday, May 5th, 2023

Andrew Gaertner
3 min readMay 6, 2023

Quintessential spring week in Wisconsin

Spring Beauty. One of our first wildflowers in the forest. All photos by me.

This week we said goodbye to a group of junior high students who had been here for 19 days. When they started their stay, winter was still reaching an icy finger into the gathering springtime, and by the time they left, it was shorts and T-shirts weather.

Our greenhouse is full and the plant sale is next week. During the plant sale, we will be unveiling the new seed library. We have 13 varieties of seeds or plants that children will be taking home and planting and hopefully saving the seeds for next year’s library. Exciting stuff.

Popcorn that we grew last year in the three sisters garden.
Dandelions have started to bloom
A bumblebee emerging in the mulch
A fuzzy fly and a honeybee taking advantage of the daffodils. The bees that made it through the winter should be okay now.
Zinnias -ready for the plant sale.
We have rats living under our coop. I walked in one night and turned on the light, hoping to see if the rats were in the coop. Instead, I just woke up the chickens and guineas.
Spring sunset
Hepatica
Beardless selfie
Daffodils and Narcisis
Mammatus clouds

In writing news, I suppose I have passed a Medium milestone. This week a person read one of my stories and decided that it was so bad that he had to write a whole essay responding to it. It was my recent book review of Tim Wise and Baynard Woods’ books about whiteness.

This writer took such issue with my conclusions that he developed a new word for people like me who are white people who write about being white but don’t meet his criteria for effective anti-racist essay writing. He called me a Neo-Super-Liberal, which I think is like a Social Justice Warrior, maybe.

To him, I am “potentially dangerous,” because I write about race without actually changing anything. It is ironic because the whole point of the essay that triggered him was to investigate whether white people like me should be writing about race at all. It is a fraught topic and it is easy to make mistakes. My conclusion was that white people should write anti-racist essays because we can’t undermine racism if we refuse to discuss it. He says almost the same thing in his comment, while heavily criticizing my particular take on the topic.

I responded to his comment/essay and tried to learn as much as I could in the process. Perhaps I will write an essay follow up.

My goal is to come at this from a point of curiosity, not defensiveness. Part of white people writing about whiteness is we need to be ready to learn and change our thinking.

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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.