July 2020 update: as the legal and practical dissolution of Deep Dirt Institute unfolds over the summer, Women Grow Food continues to produce food at Deep Dirt Farm. Kate Tirion is taking a few months’ hiatus to focus her energies on new projects; other regulars have departed to spend their summers in friendlier climes. Cheridyn Egan has stepped in to serve as interim coordinator, ably guiding the efforts of four WGF members and a handful of volunteers who continue to tend the summer plantings in alternating, COVID-wise shifts, trap the endless legions of vermin and pests who find the farm’s veggies irresistible, and perform the other myriad tasks required to keep the vegetable beds producing. As of today (July 5), summer squash, beets, savoy cabbage, kale, garlic and onions are being harvested, while winter squash, potatoes, pumpkins, beans, carrots, tomatoes, dill, fennel, basil, broccoli, chard, eggplant, cucumbers, parsley and peppers are coming on. The ducks have been relocated to Kate and Richard’s home for the summer to lessen the caretaking burden at the farm, but the property continues to hum not only with the buzz of countless pollinators but also with unending birdsong and the raucous cawing of emboldened ravens.
With the advent of fall—marked by the completion of DDI’s absorption by Borderlands Restoration Network, commencement of the fall planting season and the return of itinerant WGF members—food production activities at Deep Dirt should resume their pre-COVID pace. Doubtless there will be changes, as BRN strives to incorporate small-scale, sustainable food production into its repertoire of programming. Women Grow Food looks forward to this opportunity to grow (pardon the pun), evolve, strengthen, and expand to meet the challenges that face us all of us trying to rescale and localize our food system in regenerative ways.
For the foreseeable future, WGF will continue to need support in order to retain Cheridyn Egan as WGF coordinator and to buy seed, new mouse/rat/gopher traps and bait and many other supplies. WGF members and anyone else wishing to contribute financial support should mail their contributions to Borderlands Restoration Network, P.O. Box 121, Patagonia, AZ 85624. You can also donate online.