INTERVIEW WITH FARMERS SCOTT AND CHRISTIAN FROM GOLDEN HOUR

Golden Hour Farm, a husband-wife collaborative born of a love for health, beauty and sacred interdependence, is nestled just outside Grand Rapids in the dark soils of Jenison on the land of the Odawa and Peoria. They use natural farming practices, without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, and strive toward carbon sequestering practices that keep our soils healthy and biologically active. Golden Hour's goals are to get away from using unnecessary mechanization and to continue to expand their knowledge of sustainable practices that can work for both ecological equanimity and economic sustainability on the farm and the world. They aim to be organic certified by 2021.

Q- How did your passion for farming begin?

Scott: I became involved in farming during college. I read a couple books by philosopher-farmer Wendell Berry and spent summers working for Green Wagon Farm. I was hooked...the early mornings, outdoor+physical work, being so close to tending to life that sustains human life, the cultural idealism and constant problem solving, work that engages both necessary solitude and opens space for closeness with others. Once I met Christian, we started gardening together and she learned to love it too.

Q- How did you meet?

Chrstian: Scott likes to joke that we met in a bar, but that is only part of the story! We first met our freshman year of college through mutual friends. Our sole memory of one another from that time is one deep conversation in a stairwell, late at night and with another friend (which is true to who we are and were back then). Following that year, our paths diverged as Scott took time off school to travel the world. Years later, we met at Founders Brewery in Grand Rapids. Well, re-met. We were both there to see a local favorite, The Soil and The Sun, and each spied one another from across the room. We excitedly caught up. And well, the rest is history :)

Q- What motivated you to start your own farm?

Scott: I had managed at a couple of farms over the last few years. Once Christian and I started dreaming together about farm ideas, it was only a matter of time before we wanted to try some of them out for ourselves.

Q- What are your favorite plant companions (meaning plants that grow together as friends)?

Scott: My favorite plant companions in our gardens are violet and stinging nettle. They are quite opposite in some ways. The nettle grows tall and gives gentle shade to the violet. Nettle is somewhat drying and diuretic. Violet is moistening and cooling. Nettle is stingy and stubborn while a thick violet patch could be a bed for a baby. Both are highly nutritious and make excellent spring greens - they complement in the field and in the tea cup.

 Q- Will you share a little bit about the farm?

Golden Hour Farm is a husband-wife collaborative born of a love for the land, health, creativity and the sacred interdependence of all that is.   We grow herbal medicinals, and cut flowers.

We are named for the times each day when the sun is low and fading through flecks of dust on the horizon, reducing sharp shadows to pinks and oranges and soft light. Before we had a farm with a name we had other jobs. The only time we had for farming was in the evenings, the golden hour.

Our farm is nestled just outside Grand Rapids in the dark soils of Jenison on the land of the Odawa and Peoria. We use natural farming practices, without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. We strive toward carbon sequestering practices that keep our soils healthy and biologically active. That's part of why we love growing herbs and perennial flowers! We like to hear the birds sing, chat while working and listen to our heart’s rhythm. So we prefer the mix of hand and simple mechanical tools small farming allows. We use natural farming techniques that pull from many traditions, dabbling in no-till and perennial farm cultures. We aim to be organic certified in the next couple years. Our goals are to get away from using unnecessary mechanization as we can and to continue to expand our knowledge of sustainable practices that can work for both ecological equanimity and economic sustainability on the farm and the world. 

This is the end of our 3rd year. It was a big one. We had our hands full (in a good way) with a couple of amazing volunteers and we brought on our first employee. We made some amazing connections and had a great growing season. We’re excited to see what will come in the future, what ways our farm can serve our bio-region and community.

Q- What is your favorite tea blend at the moment and when do you like to drink it?

We love them all, but right now have been drawn to our evening blend. With the shorter days and end of season, our bodies ache and long for more rest. The blend of Lemon Balm, Scullcap, Lavender, and Oats helps ease us into our pre-bedtime routine. We love to drink it while reading a good book. We’ve also been enjoying a simple herbal hot cocoa with chamomile, honey, oat or coconut milk and cocoa powder.

Q- Do you have a favorite Suu Kuu formula?

Too many to choose from! Lately, we have been loving using The Great Black Foot Oil as a nightly ritual before bed. We find that it helps ground our nervous systems and provides a deep sleep. It also helps that the ashwagandha and mugwort come from Golden Hour :)

Q- How do you spend the post harvest season?

Slowing down come winter is a tremendous gift to us. We love putting the garden to rest. And our bodies are also ready for a rest. This time of year we are guided toward deeper self-care. For us, this looks like spending more time in the kitchen, reading and discussing novels (the ones we’ve had on our list all year!), going for winter walks along the lakeshore, watching foreign films, and dreaming/planning our garden for the next season. We also travel south for a few weeks to spend time with family, which brings both rest and adventure.

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