I would love to sit here and tell you that I started the farm. But that would not do justice to my family’s agricultural past. So allow me to share a little bit of my family’s history with you. And no I will not talk you through a slide show of our trip to the Grand Canyon in 1989. Or tell you about the time my brother backed my dad’s car into a basketball pole. This is about the farm. The family farm.
Skarsgard Farms began when my great-granddad, Tollef Skarsgard, immigrated from Norway in 1906. After jumping off the boat, Tollef learned English and got an education. The third thing he did, broke ground on a farm in Makoti, North Dakota.
That was in the spring of 1912. Since then, four generations of Skarsgards have kept the farm in production and the fields green for over 100 seasons. Reflecting back, I feel humble knowing how much hard work went into making this farm persevere over the decades.
But at the same time it is very empowering. To know that a town can sprout up in the middle of an unforgiving land, sustained by family farms, amazes me. It is reassuring to know that sweat along with soil can keep a family and a town going for 100 years. This is the story of a young farmer’s dream. The American Dream. And fortunately for me, my family’s dream. But the story does not end in North Dakota.
In March of 2003, I brought part of the family farm south to the beautiful fields at the Los Poblanos Ranch. It actually felt like a full circle journey for me. The fields that I played in as a kid, I finally got to call my office. So on June 3rd, farming about 4 acres and with 17 members, our CSA was born.
With all of your support over the years, we have grown from those first 4 acres to now cultivating 40 acres in ABQ’s South Valley and able to feed 1,700 families weekly. So I celebrate (and am thankful for) my family’s 100 years of work in the fields. I think that the old saying that “we stand on the shoulders of giants” has never rung more true for me than it does right now. With that, I feel that we cannot strive towards a bountiful future, without honoring the work of farmers in the past. And my family’s farm story serves as a reminder that, for me, the passion for the local food movement is not a newfangled thing, but truly was “Seeded in 1912.”