Greetings Friends and Neighbors,
Last Friday it was a great joy to see so many of you at the Gift Stand. We will continue with our alternating week schedule(next Gift Distribution is on 7/31), allowing for many important and timely projects, including some reflection on the paths this little Farm has made through the tall-grass field of our days. Thank you So Much for following along and participating in all of your large and small ways. There is a deep and life-affirming gratefulness that gathers here at the Farm. We look forward to seeing you on Friday 7/31, when we will once again be offering Fresh Bread and Homemade Soup as a gift to anyone who is hungry for any reason. We will host a Work Party this Sunday 7/26, 2-5pm when we will make soup and tend to other good Farm Projects. For those who wish to read, I include a story here from some days sitting up on a high hill above the Farm, a time set aside for remembering to whom the work is in service.
With Great Care,
Adam and the Brush Brook Community Farm Team
Here is what you will find in this Letter:
- Remembering: A Story from the Hill
- Work Party Details and Invitation for 7/26
- Budget Update and Request for Financial Gifts -- $2200 remaining to meet July budget
Remembering: A Story from the Hill
Let me be plain with you, dear reader.
I am an old-fashioned man. I like
the world of nature despite its mortal
dangers. I like the domestic world
of humans, so long as it pays its debts
to the natural world, and keeps its bounds.
….My purpose is a language that can pay just thanks
and honor for those gifts, a tongue
set free from fashionable lies.
—Wendell Berry, 2008.
Intermittent clouds roll over the ridge from the Northwest, each one casting a shape-shifting shadow, those shadows climbing the forested flank of the still higher mountains to the East. The sweep of sun and shade – or cloud shadow – visible so clearly from your high perch, lends a specific warm/cool character to the afternoon. The birds – Wrens and Sparrows and Warblers and Thrushes – pursue one another through the sparse, wind-stunted Spruce and Birch and Cherry. They chatter and sing and make other remarkable sounds by pushing the air with their feathered wings. Ferns, waist deep in the hilltop clearings, bend gently to the breeze and hold the memory of paths walked by Deer as they, on other days, moved silently across this landscape. Small and large Flies, Moths and Butterflies are in near-constant motion, adding their distinct wing-songs to the air, the invisible medium in which all of this life gathers and is made available to your patient senses. And then a most fearsome hunter arrives, stilling the motions of the flies that buzz around you. Dragonflies, a group of at least four or five, enter the air space. You imagine the experience of Fish or Seals upon the arrival of a pod of Orcas. The Dragonflies ply the air with extraordinary dexterity. The small Blackflies, bellies full from a recent drink of your blood, make a particularly filling afternoon feast, quilting even your visiting body to the unfolding story of the place. The pod of winged hunters feeds for a time and then moves on, leaving in their wake a silence that tentatively fills again with song.
Think of the genius of the animals,
every one truly what it is:
gnat, fox, minnow, swallow, each made
of light and luminous within itself.
They know (better than we do) how
to live in the places where they live.
And so I would like to be a true
human being, dear reader – a choice
not altogether possible now.
But this is what I’m for, the side
I’m on. And this is what you should
expect of me, as I expect it of myself,
though for realization we may wait
a thousand or a million years.
—Wendell Berry, 2008
A day and a half on the hill, sitting without food, paper, or wristwatch. Watching and listening only, sleeping and drinking water. Time grinds to a gorgeously excruciating crawl up there. Sun arcs more slowly than you will ever remember, even when you write it down as I do here. Everything is different up there. It is not easy or comfortable or even particularly pleasant. Despite all the elegant beauty you find there, you ache for the Valley and its thousand distractions. You ache for the comfort of food, for a warm cup of tea with fresh cream. And yet you sleep as you have never spelt before, napping during the day and through the night, awakening to a sky ablaze with Stars and a single Mosquito in your right ear. The next time you wake, the stars are gone, washed away by waves of wispy thin clouds. And the next, the Eastern Sky is made of pink and purple fish scales, but sleep pulls you back once again. Morning brings the dawn chorus. As Birds of every persuasion sing from their nighttime roosts, their voices fill the air with a pulsing beauty. The other ground-dwellers listen alongside you in attentive awe. It is time to walk back down. The ever-accelerating, time-eating world of the town calls you back with its thousand urgencies. The Cows will be waiting to be fed, their dependence claiming you and making you a home there on the gravelly flats along the Brush Brook, whose descending course marks your path back home.
Always disappearing, always returning,
calling his neighbors to return, to think again
of the care of the flocks and herds, of gardens
and fields, of woodlots and forests and the uncut groves,
calling them separately and together, calling and calling,
he goes forever toward the long restful evening
and the croak of the night heron over the river at dark.
—Wendell Berry, 2008
WORK PARTY this SUNDAY 7/26
Please join us at 2pm for Soup-making, pasture work, gardening and more. If you would like to stay for a picnic potluck dinner afterwards, please bring a side dish or a dessert and your own plates, cups and utensils (a picnic kit). We will eat around 5:30pm. These work parties are an important way to keep things on track here at the farm, as well as an opportunity to connect with the Farm Team and extended Farm Family. For more details, you can click here: bit.ly/brushbrookworkdays
BUDGET UPDATE: Thank you for Considering the July 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. We are 100% financially supported by these personal financial gifts.
Brush Brook Community Farm and Bakery – July Budget
|As of 7/22|
|Gifts Received in July||$ 3095.00|
|Estimated Expenses for July|
|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 (part time) Rent/Housing||$ 500.00|
|Collin McCarthy (part time) 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.