The 173rd recipient is Rue Policastro @chaotic_carrot (they/them) of Owls Nest Farm @owlsnestfarm in Upper Marlboro, MD. Rue writes, “I am one of the co-operators and farmers at Owls Nest Farm, home to a wonderful, creative, and collaborative small vegetable-growing team.
As a transgender farmer, finding euphoria in working with my body, and in building healthy relationships with land, seeds, and machines, has been incredibly healing for me. And - in a farm space filled with queer, nonbinary, and black beginning farmers - it's also allowed me to show up with intention to relish in joy, knowledge sharing, and solidarity work.
Farming has also opened up a place in my life for me to connect more deeply with the parts of myself that this world often wants to erase: from growing sicilian ancestral foods like fava beans, to dyeing gender affirming clothing with marigolds, and starting a small apiary filled with collectively minded honeybees.
Coming to this land and my crew relationships each day with reciprocal intention feels like community care to me. And my own self care as a farmer has been made more and more possible by building a sustainable life.
I’ve worked in gratitude alongside Farmer Liz to build a winter CSA program that financially supports my year round farm work, and, since the end of 2020, we’ve been navigating a business transition towards a worker-ownership model. The resources from this Real Farmer Care nomination will support me in spending more energy delving into the work necessary to make this transition a reality.”