Farm News

1: Nature’s Apprentice

Saturday, May 28, 2016 CSA Week #1

CSA Friends – Welcome!

Have you ever witnessed the behind-the-scenes activities of a road show or an art exhibit? The set up and take down, the bustling, diverse workers, the dramatic transformation of one small stage or space over a short period of time? A year on an organic farm is akin to such a production. This one stars Mother Nature and features a colorful supporting crew of agrarian characters of all shapes and sizes. Your regular visits to the farm this year will give you a glimpse of one such ecologically inspired creation.

Often times my work makes me feel partly like a roadie, partly like a stagehand and mostly like an artist’s apprentice. In January, seeds arrive and the “canvas” is readied. In February, out come the 7 foot metal posts to build bean and tomato trellis. In March, we stage for transplanting the aromatic stocky stemmed tomato plants with fine thin hairs radiating like delicate antennas.

All summer such work continues. One moment, one seed, one stake, one plant, one weed, one harvest at a time, we study and connect to the ‘art’ Nature and her weather patterns craft. As devoted assistants, we do our best to nurture her offerings. Like good apprentices, we concern ourselves with healthy soil, plant placement, lighting, temperature, and of course, supplying good, cool drinks of water as needed. Each day, we put our hands and heart to the soil, trying not to control or dominate, but instead, watching for the drama to unfold, or listening for the melody of the season. We take copious notes, attempting to choreograph the ordinary and yet absolutely mysterious creational process. How does the Earth miraculously transform the building blocks of life into delicious, nutritious fare, and freely for our taking?

In winter rains we haul the posts backs to the bin near the barn. We do so, knowing, if providence allows, our same hands, those same posts, will meet again the following spring.

April Joy Farm is one big food – centered experience that travels on the river of the seasons: from soil, seed and field, to hands and hearts, to Home.

Home, where chopping a spring scallion or finding our fingertips stained with the brilliance of rhubarb, we touch and taste and smell and feel new gratitude for the Artist’s tireless work.

Because of each passing experience, each nourishing meal, we become aware of the extraordinary masterpieces we once held so unthinkingly in our hands.

We begin to question what a compassionate partnership between the natural ecosystem and human desires truly entails. We discover deep joy in celebrating the art of every day life.

We trust over the weeks ahead, you too will begin to hear snatches of the sweet and most assuredly surprising tune our Nature, the ultimate Artist, is forever composing.

Your Farmer, ~ AJ

To stay in one place and watch the seasons come and go is tantamount to constant travel: one is traveling with the earth.    ~Marguerite Yourcenar

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