Photo: Ben Sklar

Greetings Friends and Neighbors,

Three bits of logistical news:

  1. We return to weekly Soup and Bread Gift Distribution this Friday 9/10, 4-6pm. Join us each Friday this month for fresh Bread and homemade Soups, assembled from carefully grown and gleaned ingredients. The Brush Brook Soup this week includes hearty chunks of our Huntington-grass-fed Beef, as well as bright orange and red Peppers, Carrots and Tomatoes.
  2. Your generous financial gifts allowed us to make up our significant August budget shortfall. Thank you. If you are willing to make a financial gift towards the remaining September Budget Request of $2981, you can do so HERE.
  3. Our Work Day this Sunday 1-4pm will be followed by the Community Conversation 5-7pm and include Soup Making, Setup for the Gathering, as well as tending to the Gardens and Livestock. Please join us if you are willing.

Word went out in last week’s Newsletter that we are looking for a new Home Farm. This process amounts to a significant logistical endeavor. Given the experimental, conversational nature of our work, we are inviting you to join us this Sunday as we begin the process by honoring what has been and carefully stepping toward what could be. Honoring what has been begins with naming those who have come before, those who created the fertile conditions into which the Farm was born. While many hours could be devoted to this honoring, one must begin somewhere. We acknowledge that we work and gather on the unceded homelands of the Western Abenaki People, who, for thousands of years, served as the stewards of this place. Upon settling in the Valley five years ago, we immediately found ourselves on the receiving end of the generosity of three neighbors – Sarah Jane Williamson and Lisanne and Bill Hegman. These neighbors offered some of their land and buildings as gifts and trusted us to try to grow something nourishing here. Their fields straddle Brush Brook, hence the name of the Farm. Many others neighbors have since followed their lead. We are endlessly grateful for the opportunity to attempt to become trustworthy neighbors in such a remarkable place as this. 

Have you noticed the reckless generosity of the hedgerow Apple trees this year, carpeting the ground with sweet, seed-bearing fruit, inviting Coyote to feast and then to scatter the seeds by dropping them as, well, droppings along their path? Change the characters to the generous human and nonhuman neighbors, the Gratitude Feasts and the Gift Stand, the Soup and the Bread, and then consider the local landscape – the high ridges and hidden pocket meadows, the pandemically-isolated dinner table conversations. If we have helped to distribute seeds through our work of giving away food these past months, we now ask: How will we find our way to the sheltered places where some of these seeds may have germinated? This is where your eyes and ears and voices come in. What have you noticed from where you stand? If the work of the Farm is to continue in some form, these seedlings will require care and tending from a group of concerned citizens willing to exercise their considerable citizenly responsibilities in a time of cascading ecological and social troubles. In other words: A Community, in Conversation. Thank you very much for reading.

With great care, -Adam

You are invited to:

A Community Conversation 

regarding the work of Brush Brook Community Farm
and Simple Farm Meal – please bring a bowl and spoon

Sunday 9/12, 5-7pm – outside at the Farm

We are asking for your help as we:
Pause and Reflect on the question: What does Brush Brook Community Farm mean to you?
Share the challenges and dreams of the Farm Team
Imagine our next chapter together.

RSVP requested – brushbrookcommunityfarm@gmail.com

Some Community Responses: What does Brush Brook mean to me?

Erik Weil: one of the founding farmers at Brush Brook. 

What is Brush Brook Community Farm to me?

Expressing what the farm is and what I am enabled to do because of it has seemed like a complicated task. There are many pieces.

It is small scale farming.

It is being outdoors, walking the fields, observing pasture plants, having contact with sheep and cows and wildlife.

It is actively caring for sheep, cows, plants that makeup the pastures, vegetable crops, wild and cultivated fruits, soil, and the built work spaces of the farm.

It is honoring the lives that sustain ours.

It is learning, remembering, and practicing work that is accomplished with our environment to sustain life, here.

It is knowing that change is inevitable while trying to root both feet in the ground.

It is reducing the amount of products that we need that come from other places, living within our means, and being generous with what we have to share.

It is a group of motivated people.

It is being grateful for the work and skills and knowledge that others have brought to farming, baking and being connected.

It is a practice of making decisions as a group, working together, and trusting.

It is wondering how to thank or give back to everyone that makes this possible.

It is offering a way to participate in the giving and receiving of this rural economy.

It is valuing communication with other small-scale farmers.

It is seeing wealth as the amount of interconnection between ourselves, the people of the surrounding area, and the ecosystem that we live in.

Each of these pieces of the farm - added to the existing neighborliness I found when I arrived here, the sharing of many meals, and the years of observation and engagement with the world around me - are what create the meaning and purpose that pull me into Brush Brook Community Farm.

Polly Allen: the Farm’s unofficial Grandmother. 

What does Brush Brook mean to me?

A place to join others who
Love the land and want to replenish it
Love animals and our relationships with them
Seek connections in our community
And want to help others in a natural uncomplicated way.

A place where one can help with the work
And feel part of the needed restoration
A place that gives hope in our time of desperation
Where we can help turn our thoughts and actions into
Better habits that harmonize with our Mother Earth.

A place where one can learn about the old ways of agriculture
And nourish the old custom of storytelling while local musicians
Soothe us in the background and children discover that they can eat clover blossoms.

A place where one can feel good about our community and good to be alive.

Dennis Huffman: Educator, Writer, and long-distance observer of the Farm.

What does Brush Brook mean to me?

I live 500 miles from Huntington, so my visits to Brush Brook have all been via the weekly newsletter. Still, the farm has come to occupy a great deal of important real estate in my mind. There, even in winter, new possibilities bloom and I am transported by the scent of fresh ideas. Reading of the owl calling at the tree line, I tilt my head and enter no only the liminal space between forest and meadow, but the cultural space between past, present and future ways of thinking and being.

Becky and Dave Cozzens: Unofficial Grandparents to the whole Town

What does Brush Brook Farm mean to us?

We love the mission of Brush Brook farm reaching out to people in our community by giving out soup and bread and offering community dinners.

We treasure the relationships that we have made with the farm team as we host their cows on our property for several months the past two summers.

We get pleasure watching the cows graze on our land and learning the cows’ names as we interact with them each day. We admire the love and care that the farm team shows to each of the animals as they tend them, they exhibit a great understanding of the interactions of animal and humans.

Brush Brook farm is a unique farm with a mission that is needed in our world today. Thank-you Brush Brook farm. – Becky and Dave Cozzens

Here is what you will find in this Letter:

  1. FINANCIAL GIFT REQUEST – Detailed August 2021 Budget

With Great Care, 

Adam, Erik, Polly, Dennis, Becky, Dave and the Brush Brook Community Farm Team

BUDGET UPDATE: Thank you for considering the September 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. 

BBCF - September 2021 Budget
As of September 7
Gifts Received in September – Thank you! $1,697.18
Remaining Balance from August $245.49
Estimated Expenses
    Bakery Rent $300.00
    Tractor, Freezers and Milkroom Rents $200.00
    Bakery Overhead (firewood, insur., utilites) $250.00
    Website, Tech, and Office Supplies $20.00
Farm Expenses
   Livestock (animals/feed/services) $800.00
   Bread Ingredients & Packaging $850.00
   Misc Ingredients (spices, etc) $30.00
   Fencing $150.00
   Hosting and Educational $200.00
   Vehicles (gas, maintn., insur. etc) $150.00
Predicted Human Expenses
   Collin McCarthy Rent & Utilities $580.00
   Adam Wilson Rent $200.00
   Adam Wilson personal stipend $448.08
Infrastructure Maintenance and Project Fund $300.00
Total Estimated Expenses $4,678.08
Total Remaining for September $2,980.90

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.

Thank you!