Photo by Ben Sklar
Greetings Friends and Neighbors,
I walk the lambing yard each morning upon waking, straining to attune my eyes and ears to the Life that unfolds and unfurls there on that flood-carved cobbly knoll. With 19 new lambs on the ground now – forming a formidable pack each evening at dusk and running leaping laps around their resting mothers – we must rely on ear-tag numbers in addition to the slight differences in face shape and wool texture to assist our memories as we labor to learn the flock – the rapidly enlarging family – to whom we are obliged. We begin to recognize and remember the specific mothering call each Ewe employs to locate and gather her lambs to her side in the tumult of the flock. Collin and Erik walk the yard at other times of day, and we trade reports when we are together. Do you think number 10 is getting enough milk? Did you notice Billie was limping on her rear right leg? Amaryllis’ vulva is looking more swollen – perhaps we should move her into the maternity ward. Doesn’t Beatrice’s deep rumbling voice make you laugh each time you hear it – like the air brakes on a Mack truck? This work – attuning one’s awareness to the visual and auditory doings of non-human animals – carries surprising and miraculous consequence. The onslaught of exclusively-human-dramas seems to loosen its grasping hold on your attention, and the World begins to sparkle, to shimmer, even to whisper its subtle songs of homecoming.
Dawn breaks as I wake and step from the house and cross the fence into the lambing yard. The ewes and lambs are quiet and so my eyes begin to scan for signs of ease or distress. There is a clear sense of ease in the yard. The fragrance of moist earth that permeated the air last evening has receded with the light frost overnight. The air is thin and clear. It will be sunny today. And then my ears awaken and I am flooded by the most exquisite song-scape. Bluebird, Song Sparrow, Cardinal, Winter Wren, and Robins by the dozens. The Dawn Chorus swells as beloved singers return and attune their voices to the specific acoustics of this narrow valley that is their summer home. Their songs give form to the thin air as they call-in the day – as they court the arrival of Spring. It is an incantatory praise song for Life’s renewal. Gabrielle and George, the twin lambs orphaned when their mother died of birth complications last week, have settled into their routines with Grandma Polly. The six ewes still to lamb seem content this morning to doze and dream as the first rays of Sun spill over the ridge and filter through the leaf-bare stems of Ash and Elm and Birch and warm the ground where they lay. Robins are hard at work nearby, scanning this warming ground for the subtlest cues and clues, attuning their eyes and ears to the Life that unfolds and unfurls there beneath the surface. One of the lambs, awakening from a nap, notices Robin at work and approaches, curious. Robin hops along the outside of the fence as young Lamb pursues on the inside, offering a head-toss and a leg-kick to indicate a desire for playful engagement.
We are thrilled to invite you to join us for our weekly Soup and Bread Gift Distribution, from 11am – 1pm. The warming way things are going, we will likely have the Stand setup outside this Saturday, as the hoophouse will be too hot. Fancy that! We will have hundreds of loaves of fresh Bread as well as two delicious Soups, made from carefully grown and gleaned ingredients and prepared by many hands at last Sunday’s Work Day. From 1-4pm each Sunday, our weekly Work Days are at the heart of what we do – joining with others to pass the Gift along. There is a beautiful quote from a book called The Gift that comes to mind: “Our generosity may leave us empty, but it is then our emptiness that tugs gently at the whole until the thing [the Gift] in motion returns to replenish us.” While these ideas may strike you as beautiful – as they do to us – they will surely remain stillborn unless they are planted in the ground. At our Work Days we invite you to join us in this work of planting. Please help us to make these days as fruitful as possible by signing up to let us know that you plan to attend. You can do that HERE. Here is the actual link, in case you have trouble with the button: bit.ly/brushbrookworkdays
Many thanks to all of you who gave financial gifts this past week. We exceeded our budget request for March by $107, which carries over to April as a positive balance. Since 4/1, $1450 has been received, which leaves our remaining April request at $4193. Would you consider making a gift to support our work? You can do so HERE.
Here is what you will find in this Letter:
- GIFT DISTRIBUTION DETAILS and FULL MENU
- FINANCIAL GIFT REQUEST – April 2021 Budget
With Great Care,
Ava, Erika, Kristen, Erik, Collin, Evan and Adam – The Brush Brook Community Farm Team
SOUP and BREAD GIFT DISTRIBUTION: Saturday 4/10, 11am - 1 pm
- Brush Brook Soup – Squash, Sweet Potato, Potato, Tomato, Beets, Cabbage & Kale, Beef, Herbs, Bone Broth.
- Vegetarian Soup – Pureed Butternut, Sweet Potato, Carrot and Turnip, Tomato, Garlic, Herbs.
Mountain, Polenta, 3 Seed, Sprouted Grain, German Rye and Backcountry Loaf (made w/o gluten)
BUDGET UPDATE: Thank you for considering the April Budget
Many heartfelt thanks to all who have responded to these invitations by sending in Financial Gifts. If you would like to support our work, you can mail checks made out to Brush Brook Community Farm to PO Box 202, Huntington, VT, 05462, bring gifts to the Gift Stand, or donate through the website. We are 100% financially supported by these personal financial gifts.
Brush Brook Community Farm – Apr. 2021 Budget
|As of 4/6|
|Gifts Received in Apr. – Thank you!||$ 1450.00|
|Estimated Expenses for April|
|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||$ 448.08|
|Adam Wilson Rent||$ 200.00|
|Erik Weil Stipend Request||$ 500.00|
|Collin McCarthy Stipend Request||$ 580.00|
|Estimated Federal/State Taxes||$ 351.22|
|Paypal Fees||$ 150.00|
|Overage from March||$107.00|
|Total Remaining for April||$ 4193.00|
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.