“I apprenticed at Live Power Community Farm when I was 21 years old. As long ago as that sounds now, the nine months I spent there have a significance that marks them as one of the most important milestones in my life. It was a year of powerful healing and growth.
I joined the Live Power team as a reaction against my biological studies at school. I felt that studying the world in such a mechanistic way was deadening my energy and excitement for life. Being a 21 year-old, I kicked back hard, I quit school and moved to the farm; lured by the promise of participation in the natural world and the vague notion that biodyamics is a non-materialistic science.
What I encountered was the gift of work. The kind of work I had rarely experienced became my everyday life and both my body and mind were invigorated by it. I was working in a dialogue with the world around me, no longer studying it as a so-called “objective observer” as I had in school. I was now a functioning part of everything around me. For the first time in my life I knew the importance of what I was doing. A sadness lifted from my heart and I would burst out laughing at random times during the day, happy and completely flabbergasted as to how I had ended up on a farm, shoveling manure and loving it so much. The combination of this connection to my body and the participation with the natural world healed a part of me I did not know was sick.
This healing was the end of my childhood in some ways and the beginning of the next step. I walked away with a confidence that grew from an understanding of how I fit into our world. Everyone should have a similar experience on a farm in their young life, whether they want to be astronauts, peace activists, or farmers. We all need a true connection to the land that counter balances the alienation and excesses that our culture pushes at us, at least long enough to see what other lives are possible to lead.
Ten years later, after working on various other farms, I have recently become a partner at First Light Farm in Sonoma County, where I was raised. We grow twenty acres of organic vegetables and I am returning to my roots by implementing biodynamic practices into our farm. I have had several farm mentors and have learned a variety of farming practices, but my experience at Live Power Community Farm is a foundational block that has informed my professional and spiritual life.”
Jesse Pizzatola, First Light Farm CSA
“I came to Live Power Farm as a young man with almost no farming experience, limited work skills, and a wavering sense of purpose… and what I gained was the foundation for a successful and satisfying career in farming. Working with the Decaters taught me as much as a new farmer could absorb about plant and soil care, along with some solid training in hard work and perseverance. Add to this the camaraderie of the apprentice and farm community and the wonder that comes from spending the seasons raising crops, and it is little wonder that I’m still farming today.”
Eddie lives in Arcata, CA with his wife Molly, and son Wes. He is the owner of DeepSeeded Community Farm, a 9-acre vegetable & fruit farm focused primarily on a CSA program where members come right to the farm for their weekly share of the harvest. When he sees his members talking and playing while gathering the harvest & picking flowers, he knows that a community farm grows more than just good food.
Eddie Tanner, 1999 Apprentice, Deep Seeded farm