Greetings Friends and Neighbors,
North Wind – Winter’s Tooth – sets every tree in motion, sending settled snow from Hemlock’s upper branches tumbling groundward. Even the sheltered corners of the Farm bear the mark of this first wintry and visitation. All who are listening hear the howl coming from the tree-tops.
Here’s the short list of News items before the following Election-morning-written Letter.
- We will be CLOSED this coming weekend to undertake the work of winterizing – to finish the Cow Barn, walk the Cows home from their fall pasture and to put up the rest of the greens and herbs for the winter Soup Pot.
- However, there are about 30 loaves remaining from Saturday and we will have the Stand set up for self-service today(11/4) and tomorrow(11/5) from 9am – 5pm, or until the bread is gone.
- We will host a WORK DAY this Sunday 11/8 from 1pm – 4pm. Note the time change. Information here: bit.ly/brushbrookworkdays
- We will be OPEN Saturday the 14th, 21st and 28th for Soup and Bread from 11am – 1pm (hours change based on your suggestions)
- We were about $300 short of meeting our October Budget Request, and so we ask again, ‘Would you consider making a financial gift to sustain our work by clicking HERE?
I cry out this Election Day morning – are there any other humans listening to North Wind and wondering what he has to say about the predicament in which we find ourselves? Is there anything worth writing here when our attention is already held hostage by the deafening gale coming from these glowing screens and their tiny digital microphones? This newsletter will be sent out on the Day After, and so there may already be word of Victory and Defeat. Here is a question that I have oft leaned upon to help me make sense of our time:
Are we a people now who would rather be Defeated than Persuaded?
Stephen Jenkinson writes in his timely book, Come of Age, “The poet W. H. Auden wondered whether we are a people now who would rather be defeated by the consequences of what we shouldn’t have done than persuaded ahead of time that we shouldn’t do it(1).” I have said many times that the efforts of the Farm to give everything away offer no Plan, but rather function as a Plea. Plea-making appears to be the Farm’s preferred form of Persuasion.
What would it take for us to set down our weapons – to willingly relinquish our war-like, world-eating and scarcity-fueled way of life?
Perhaps North Wind – as he bears his glittering white teeth this morning – is singing a spell-breaking love song to human beings. We have this word Spell, and we use it in two different ways. There is the purposeful arrangement of letters that allows the meaning of words to become legible to us, as in ‘spelling.’ Just 26 letters – simple marks made from straight and curved lines – call forth a whole hidden world of sound and thought. As David Abrams describes, even as we read silently, we actually hear the sound of the spoken words in our mind(2). And then there is the other meaning of Spell, referring to something that has been cast, whose influence you may find yourself under. Both meanings seem to point toward magic.
What if scarcity is primarily a spell that is cast and re-cast by the words to which we tether ourselves?
If you’ve made it this far, your endurance is a blessing, your attention a responsibility. It is an honor to try to describe some of the ideas that animate the work of the Farm – to try to find Words Worthy of the World. As Robin Wall Kimmerer says of the reason she writes, "Maybe I could help people to fall in love with the world again(3)." And yet, however beautiful any of these ideas may be, they will remain stillborn unless they are planted in the ground. That is what we try to do each week here at the Farm, which amounts to thousands of hours of beautifully unglamorous labor. As such, we have decided to close the Bakery and the Gift Stand this week to enable us to finish the Cow Barn, put up the rest of the greens and herbs for winter Soups, and attend to the many other small projects that will help us to remember to greet Winter’s Tooth with words of gratitude – when he returns to settle in for the duration.
- Come of Age: The Case for Elderhood in a Time of Trouble, Stephen Jenkinson
- The Spell of the Sensuous, David Abram
- The Grammar of Animacy, On Being interview with Robin Wall Kimmerer
Here is what you will find in this letter:
- FINANCIAL GIFT REQUEST – detailed November Budget
With Great Care,
Ava, Erik, Collin, Evan and Adam – The Brush Brook Community Farm Team
BUDGET UPDATE: Thank you for considering the November 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 – Nov. Budget
|As of 11/4|
|Negative Balance from October||$ (250.00)|
|Estimated Expenses for November|
|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||$ 200.00|
|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.