Greetings Friends and Neighbors,
Last evening, the five members of the Farm Team sat around the table and told stories from a Joyous and Beautiful weekend of events. A Cow Barn, built from gifted lumber was raised by volunteer hands to grow food to offer as a gift to anyone who is hungry for any reason. Once again, over 30 people showed up to labor in service of a dream that offered no clear return on their investment. Others brought dishes to assemble a stunning mid-day feast. Around the table last evening I also heard stories of the poignant articulations of gratitude offered by many of the neighbors in attendance. “We are so lucky to have this community farm in our town,” has been heard again and again. But exhaustion also needed to be named, and once the flood gates opened each member of the Team admitted that they were close to a breaking point. Piled on top was the news that the budget is still almost $2000 short with just 3 days left in the month.
Is it sensible to continue to invite people to join us in the practice of Reckless Generosity in a time marked by so much fear, scarcity and concern for personal security – so much concern for our Selves?
Many have asked, noticing that it has been a stretch to convince people to cover the budget request each month, "Why not just apply for one of the many grants available for this kind of work?" A couple of liberal-friendly corporate sponsors could help clean up the pesky money issue and let you focus on the real work of growing food to give away, right? NPR seems to have gone that direction – how bad could it be?
Why do we stubbornly persist in asking normal people to sustain this work financially?
Which begs the question:
What is the "Real Work" of Brush Brook Community Farm anyway?
We have these two words – grown from the same root but carrying such divergent meaning – Grief and Grievance.
What if the Real Work of the Farm is to give and give until there is nothing left – without defending the soils, plants, animals, or farmers against this seemingly inevitable outcome – AND to tell the story?
Is it possible to stay the course – to grieve what has become of us as modern people, our bottomless capacity to be on the take – without retreating to the retributive urgings of grievance or the malaise of misanthropy – the now widespread willingness to give up on humans altogether?
What if this is the way the living world offers itself to us every day – recklessly generous and utterly undefended? What if human beings are part of that living world? What if culture is the way humans have reminded each other that these things are so? What if the abandonment of this culture work is the root of our trouble – our inability to respond to a world in freefall?
These wonderings might seem grandiose, dreamy or downright impractical and unimportant, especially now that we are a week out from a National Election that threatens to make fatal tears in the already frayed fabric of our public life. Brush Brook Community Farm came of age during the early days of the pandemic. I heard a rumor in those days that in the face of crisis people are sometimes willing to consider things that they wouldn’t have previously. Our work proceeds in the little space opened up by that possibility – that there might be others willing to dream such a dream. Thank you for dreaming with us.
We are honored to ask you to consider making a financial gift to allow us to continue this work. We are asking for $1950 to cover the remaining expenses for October. You can make a gift HERE.
Please join us this Saturday for Soup and Bread Gift Distribution and Lunch outdoors around the Fire Noon-3pm (bring a bowl and spoon with you from home) where all food is offered as a gift to anyone who is hungry for any reason. Sunday we will host a Work Day from 2-5pm, including spots on the Soup Team as well as garden and hoophouse projects. For information on the Work Day click here: bit.ly/brushbrookworkdays
Here is what you will find in this letter:
- SOUP and BREAD GIFT DISTRIBUTION 10/31 – Details and Menu
- FINANCIAL GIFT REQUESTS – detailed October Budget
With Great Care,
Ava, Erik, Collin, Evan and Adam – The Brush Brook Community Farm Team
SOUP and BREAD GIFT DISTRIBUTION: Saturday 10/31, Noon - 3 pm
- Brush Brook Soup – Roasted Squash, Tomato, Greens, Beef, Garlic, Herbs, Bone Broth.
- Vegetarian Soup – Pureed Sweet Potato, Cucumber, Tomato, Garlic.
Please bring a mask with you and wear warm clothes. We will have Soup and Bread to take home as well as Hot Soup and Sliced Bread for toasting over the fire. You will need to bring your own Bowl and Spoon with you from home if you would like to eat lunch outside around the fire. We will offer olive oil for toast drizzling and paper napkins. If you would like to make an open-faced grilled cheese, bring toppings with you from home! And don’t forget your Bowl and Spoon.
BUDGET UPDATE: Thank you for considering the October Budget
Many heartfelt thanks to all who have responded to these invitations by sending in Financial Gifts. If you would like to support our work, you can mail checks made out to Brush Brook Community Farm to PO Box 202, Huntington, VT, 05462, bring gifts to the Gift Stand, or donate through the website. We are 100% financially supported by these personal financial gifts.
Brush Brook Community Farm and Bakery – Oct. Budget
|As of 10/27|
|Gifts Received – Thank You!||$ 4017.00|
|Estimated Expenses for October|
|Bread Ingredients & Packaging||$ 1,115.50|
|Bakery Overhead (Insur., Electric, etc.)||$ 555.86|
|Bakery Rent||$ 300.00|
|Farm Expenses||$ 1,550.00|
|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|
|Cow Barn Purchased Materials||$ 500.00|
|Estimated Federal/State Taxes||$ 351.22|
|Paypal Fees||$ 150.00|
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.