Greetings Friends and Neighbors,
The labels on the soup containers read: “This food is offered as a gift to anyone who is hungry for any reason.”
If you imagine that giving away 180 bowls of soup and over 200 loaves of bread made from carefully raised and gathered local ingredients is Joyful and Rewarding, you would be correct. You might also imagine that these efforts are intended to offer a sense of Comfort and Hope at a time when the news from beyond the Valley goes from bad to worse. On this second point, however, you would be mistaken. The motivation – or fuel – for the tremendous labors of growing, gleaning, milling, washing, chopping, roasting, baking, and distributing food at Brush Brook Community Farm is born from one simple, uncomfortable word: Grief. There is a quote that is worth sharing:
"We seem to have forgotten that there might be, or that there ever were, mutually sustaining relationships between resident humans and their home places in the world of Nature. We seem to have no idea that the absence of such relationships, almost everywhere in our country and in the world, might be the cause of our trouble. Our trouble nonetheless exists, is severe, and is getting worse. Instead of…[caretakers] of cherished home places, we have become the willing parasites of any and every place, destroying the source and substance of our lives, as parasites invariably do." – Wendell Berry, The Art of Loading Brush, 2017.
Yikes! I thought these Newsletters were about cute lambs and smiling neighbors. Yes, there are still plenty of those as well. But Grief seems to be knocking on the door these days, pleading for a seat at the table. Radical hospitality asks that we pull up another chair and find one more place setting for this honored guest.
What could mutually sustaining relationships look like between human beings? Between humans and what we call Nature? These Longings inspire the work at Brush Brook Community Farm.
What transpires in the absence of such relationships? Turn on the news any day this week and you will hear a litany of fallout from the abandonment of an obligation to mutual sustenance – called in turns exploitation, extraction, oppression, greed, injustice, racism, ecological collapse.
It might be Comfortable and Hopeful if this Letter offered some solutions to these grievous realities, maybe a 5-Step Plan for repairing fractured relationships – a ‘Reparations Plan.’ You will not find that here. Instead, we will continue to invite you to join us in the Uncomfortable Work of imagining what relationships rooted in mutual sustenance could look like. This is as close to a proposal as we can offer:
- We will keep farming, cooking, baking and giving food away every week – passing along the gifts offered by this place and its abundant soils, rainfall and sunshine.
- We will continue to invite you to come and receive these gifts, to take them home, to eat them or share them with a neighbor, to be sustained by them.
- We will ask you to consider: "What Gifts do I have to offer? And how might I join hands with others to sustain the whole?"
Here are two ways to sustain the Farm and Bakery this month:
- Labor – We could use your help! Every Sunday 2-5pm we will host work projects, including Soup Making. For more information and to sign up for shifts, click HERE.
- Money – Would you consider helping us to meet our June Budget request? The remaining balance for June is $4700, with $600 received since June 1st. This money goes to purchase farm supplies, pay the electric bill and rent, offer modest living stipends for the farmers, soup-makers and bakers, and so on. You can give a gift by clicking HERE. Thank you for keeping us in mind, and helping to keep the lights on!
Here is what you will find in this letter:
- SOUPS THIS WEEK – Please bring containers from home.
- INVITATION: FOOD DISTRIBUTION DETAILS
- BUDGET UPDATE
With Great Care,
Adam and the Brush Brook Community Farm Team
Two soup offerings this week:
- Brush Brook Soup – Spinach, Nettles, Turnips, Carrots, Fresh Herbs, and Beef.
- Veggie Soup– Pureed Sweet Potatoes, Turnips, Garlic, and Cherry Tomatoes from last summer.
We will be FILL YOUR CONTAINERS for you, as to ensure safe handling. Please bring quart or pint containers (plastic yogurt-style or glass wide-mouth canning jars) from home. Do you have extra yogurt containers to help us create a stash for those who forget to bring one with them when they arrive?
INVITATION: FOOD DISTRIBUTION DETAILS
Friday 6/12, 4:00pm – 6:00 pm
Brush Brook Community Farm & Running Stone Bread
4582 Main Road, Huntington, VT.
Bread Varieties this week: Mountain Bread, Polenta, 3 Seed, Rye, Sprouted Grain, Backcountry Loaf (gf)
Would you consider coming by for a loaf for your household, and possibly one to drop off to someone on your way home?
BUDGET UPDATE: Thank you for Considering the June Budget
Many heartfelt thanks to all who have responded to these invitations by sending in Financial Gifts. If you would like to support our work, you can mail checks made out to Brush Brook Community Farm to PO Box 202, Huntington, VT, 05462, bring gifts to the Bread and Soup Stand, or donate through the website.
Brush Brook Community Farm and Bakery – June Budget
|June (gifts as of 6-10)|
|Financial Gifts - Thank you!||$ 600.00|
|Estimated Expenses for June|
|Bread Ingredients & Packaging||$ 1,115.50|
|Bakery Overhead (Insur., Electric, etc.)||$ 555.86|
|Bakery Rent||$ 300.00|
|Farm Expenses||$ 1,051.76|
|Farm/Bakery Team Requested Gifts|
|Adam Wilson Personal Living (full time)||$ 648.08|
|Adam Wilson Rent||$ 200.00|
|Erik Weil Rent/Housing||$ 500.00|
|Collin McCarthy Utilities||$ 100.00|
|Bakery Deferred Maintenance Fund||$ 400.00|
|Estimated Federal/State Taxes||$ 351.22|
|Paypal Fees||$ 75.00|
Support the Farm & Bakery
The operations of Brush Brook Community Farm & Bakery are maintained by neighborly working hands and financial gifts. Your generous monetary support propels the gift of food forward to those open to receiving it.