Photo by John Hadden
Greetings Friends and Neighbors,
Nearly-Full Moon begins her ascent from behind the high Eastern Ridge, where the last of Sun’s light has been gathered up by brilliant white, Snow-encrusted alpine Spruce. As she catches your eye, she reaches out to steal one of your breaths. Stop for a moment. Please. Behold this World. You do stop. And then you realize that, from where you stand, Moon rises through a tangle of electrical poles and wires – you imagine Dolphin tangled in fishing nets or Hare caught in an abandoned leg-hold trap. And then, just as Winter Cold will do if you stand still for too long after sunset, Grief starts to sink in – deep, marrow deep. You realize with so much force that you speak the words aloud, “To be alive is to breathe in So Much Beauty.” But what do I breathe back out? Moon is still caught in her trap, now obscured by the electrical box affixed to one of the poles. Your tears are close as the rest of the sentence comes. “To be alive is to breathe in so much beauty, and to long to remember how to breathe beauty back out." There it is, a proper plea. You weep, having seen it and having heard yourself say the words aloud. Like the genie from the bottle, it is far too large to fit back into the space in your chest from where it emerged. Your longing has been loosed upon the world. Just then, Moon pushes free from the tops of the power poles to float in a deep purple Sky. She is facing you directly as she asks, ‘Now that you have said it, what will you do?’
Misanthropy is a fancy name for giving up on humans. The word refers to the now-widespread belief that humans are inherently selfish and greedy and, by extension, we will proceed to destroy all that sustains us until we burn ourselves out. The World would fare much better without us, and will surely outlive us once we are gone. Humans are, essentially, takers of beauty. I have heard this sentiment stumble off the tongues of people of every socio-political position and persuasion. The belief seems to underly and uphold the Progress Project that has set out to bring middle-class-ness to the world. Everyone else surely wants what we have – including our Corrective Surgeries and our Misanthropy. Here are some bold questions: What if Misanthropy is actually a disease of forgetfulness? What if we have forgotten what Humans are capable of? What if the consequence – to Humans and to the World – of a societal forgetting of this scale IS precisely the predicament in which we find ourselves?
We are thrilled to invite you back to the Farm this Saturday 1/2, 11am – 1pm for Soup and Bread Gift Distribution, where we will have Fresh Bread and Homemade Soup made from carefully grown and gleaned ingredients, all offered as a Gift to anyone who is hungry for any reason. Our Work Day will be Sunday from 11am – 1pm, and will include Soup Prep. Find details HERE.
To turn around and look back at this year is to stumble towards remembering, a berry patch too sweet not to wade into, even as the thorns grab ‘hold of you, drawing blood every time you try to pull away. It was an honor to write down, each week, stories from this place. It was an honor also to hear that some of you took time to read them. It was an honor to work alongside such beautiful, heartbroken people – many hundreds of them – who showed up at the Farm to contribute to growing, gathering, gleaning and preparing food that was to be given away as Gifts. The Farm Team – Evan, Erik, Ava, and Collin – it was an honor to call you family in a troubled time. It was an honor that people arrived each week to receive the Farm’s Gifts, to share them with their families and friends and neighbors. It was an honor that enough people said “These conversations are hard but they are worth having,” by voting yes with their time and their dollars. We are already $466 dollars over our December Budget Request, and all overage received in 2020 will go towards a SCYTHE FUND to purchase these old-fashioned tools($200 each) that will further our human-powered-haymaking efforts. You can make a gift HERE.
As number of you have sent us a link to this beautiful essay The Serviceberry: An Economy of Abundance, by Robin Wall Kimmerer, one of the Patron Saints of Brush Brook. If you take the time to read, you might recognize some of the influence Robin’s work has had on this little Farm. Here is where you can find the essay: https://emergencemagazine.org/story/the-serviceberry/
Here is what you will find in this letter:
- GIFT DISTRIBUTION DETAILS and FULL MENU
- FINANCIAL GIFT REQUEST – detailed December Budget
With Great Care,
Ava, Erik, Collin, Evan and Adam – The Brush Brook Community Farm Team
SOUP and BREAD GIFT DISTRIBUTION: Saturday 12/19, 11am - 1 pm
- Brush Brook Soup – Roasted Squash and Turnips, Tomato, Greens, Lamb, Garlic, Herbs, Lamb Bone Broth.
- Vegetarian Soup – Pureed Sweet Potato and Turnip, Tomato, Garlic, Herbs.
Please bring a mask with you and wear warm clothes. We will have Soup and Bread to take home, and encourage you to bring quart containers from home for us to fill for you.
BUDGET UPDATE: Thank you for considering the December Budget
Many heartfelt thanks to all who have responded to these invitations by sending in Financial Gifts. If you would like to support our work, you can mail checks made out to Brush Brook Community Farm to PO Box 202, Huntington, VT, 05462, bring gifts to the Gift Stand, or donate through the website. We are 100% financially supported by these personal financial gifts.
Brush Brook Community Farm and Bakery – Dec. Budget
|As of 12/30|
|Gifts Received in Dec – Thank you!||$ 6236.99|
|Estimated Expenses for December|
|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|
|Hay Feeder and Portable Sheep Shelter||$ 300.00|
|Estimated Federal/State Taxes||$ 351.22|
|Paypal Fees||$ 150.00|
|Negative Balance from November||(70.00)|
|Gifts Overage from December||$ 466.33|
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.