Dirt Eaters

Work, Food, and Communal Transformation

(from the frontlines of a hopeful revolution)

What is dirt eaters?

My name is Brian Massey, and I’m a farmer. Kinda sorta. But I’m also an eater, a consumer, a citizen, an entrepreneur, an educator, a writer, a builder, a technician, an artist. Mostly, I’m trying to grow and evolve every single day.

Just like Dirt Eaters.

In the Fall of 2013 I packed up my life and moved to central Massachusetts to spend a year working and learning at The Farm School. I was looking for something -- new skills, a new career, a new life, a new way of looking at and relating to the world, etc. -- but I wasn’t sure quite what. I mostly knew that I had stagnated, and I needed a change.

I had asked friends and family to help me fund this dream, this indulgent and impractical year, and as repayment, I started this website so that they would be able to follow my journey. If nothing else, Dirt Eaters was for them.

And so I chronicled my days, my reflections, my questions and struggles and exhaustion. I took pictures and tried to make sense of it all. Hopefully it connected with a few folks. Hopefully it was well-written and readable, at the least.

And then I left The Farm School, to try to figure out what to do with that something I’d found. And I stopped writing, because the story’s arc became less clear.

Now, I’m settled in Mount Rainier, MD, a stone’s-throw from the border with Washington, DC. I’m working in education, I’m becoming a father, and I’m a different person than I was a year-and-a-half ago. Now, it’s just a matter of actualizing that change.

So, wait, was is this website?

The goal and purpose of Dirt Eaters is to highlight the often unseen human drama at the center of the Food Revolution, the difficult and joyous work of changing one’s life and one’s self to better live out one’s values. I’ll continue to share my own experiences and reflections and outlandish opinions. I plan to interview humble folks who truly value soil and its centrality to all of our lives, practical folks who value hard work and incremental success, disciplined people who value walking the walk above all else. A bunch of these will be farmers, aspiring and established and everywhere in between, because I believe them to be on the front lines, often with the most to teach us about how to move forward in this changing world.

But the Food Revolution has many actors, many aspects, and I will touch on as many of them as possible.

The conceit of this website is that -- if you try to cook regularly from raw ingredients, if you hope to plant a backyard garden or a window tomato, if you shift a bit of your food budget to the farmers market or to a CSA, if you advocate for school gardens or a ban on neonicotinoids, if you dream of starting a farm or a food hub or a local grocery store or a farm-to-table restaurant, if you take the risk and change your life to better match your values, if you eat food and are impacted by how it is grown -- we are all Dirt Eaters.

This website started out to chronicle my personal journey. I hope that it can now -- at least a little bit -- chronicle our collective journey as it relates to food and farming and, well, everything.

Thanks for reading, thanks for the feedback, thanks for hopping along for the ride.

~Brian Massey, February 2015