Monday, May 24, 2010

Yesterday we invited our CSA members out to the farm, not to work just to hang out, eat and see the place. I mean this is their farm in many ways. In spite of the fact that in the last 24 hours we’ve had 11 lambs born (three of which are bottle babies) things were the calmest I think it has ever been. All of the dogs were put up, which I think helped with the initial greeting being jovial and peaceful instead of having two big dogs bark their lungs our at folks as they arrived, (like that’s really welcoming). At one point I looked up and a bunch of folks were in the goat yard, and the goats loved the attention. Total hams!

Lunch was right out of the field with a chard frittata, tossed green salad with balsamic marinated beets and turnips, pasta salad with arugula and fresh chevre, Asian greens with curry and coconut over brown rice, roasted leg of lamb and fresh baked homemade bread. One of our CSA members Julia Harris brought two of her band members and played for us which was a full on treat! We never did get a contra dance going but I was dancin’ inside.

Really, the day was perfect. And looking out at all of these folks who had invested in the CSA, who had given me their faith and trust was a sight to behold. I came to this place out of the dust of a shattered farm dream. Not knowing what the road would ahead would look like, I started dreaming again and with some real hard work, perseverance, faith, and the trust of 50 families we made a farm. Not just any farm but a holistic farm. A network of nature, human ingenuity and skill, creating a farm that was interdependent. All the pieces working together. The vegetable fields, chickens, goats, sheep, compost, manure. Fertility in action.

Fertility is gift. Mostly a gift for being patient, for not throwing in the towel and giving up. Fertility is something you have to work hard at and not expect to see immediate results. But the long term payoff is spectacular. This first year we’ve faced many challenges we’ve learned a lot about our soil and our land. It’s really difficult not getting discouraged at our failures or imperfections, and I constantly have to remind myself that farming doest come out of a bag, that’s gardening. Farming takes time and thought and planning and discipline. It’s way of life. It’s takes learning and building and changing on a dime. The CSA members help me with this. My commitment to them out weighs my discouragement and forces me to stick with it. I get the opportunity to learn and become a better farmer therefore I do get to see results. I bet they have no idea what personal growth they have allowed me through their simple need and desire for fresh healthy clean food.
I thank our CSA members from the bottom of my heart.

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