Photo: Ben Sklar

Greetings Friends and Neighbors,

The arrival of a terminal diagnosis in our midst grabs us by the shoulders and gives a shake. If you’re reading this you are most likely still breathing. I notice my own breath, moving quietly as I write. Can we ever give thanks enough for this privilege? And what about the responsibilities conferred by membership in this category – the still-alive? 

Our last Soup and Bread Gift Distribution for this chapter of the Farm will be Friday 10/29. That means five more. And after that? We are still listening for how and where we can be of greatest service, looking for a new home place for the weekly gatherings that are the heart of what we do. How will the Farm be re-born as we move into a new chapter? How will the Beef, Lamb, Vegetables and Bread be shared with our neighbors through the winter season? No easy answers yet. But, remember, there are still five more scheduled Friday Distributions and five more Sunday Work Days through the month of October. The Gardens are heavy with produce, the Sheep and Cows healthy. The Farm exuberantly overflows with life. 

What, then are our responsibilities to the Farm and to one another once we acknowledge that what we love is not going to last forever? 

Gathering toward gratitude seems the only reliable route. Would you join us at Soup and Bread Gift Distribution, Friday 4-6pm or our Work Day, Sunday 1-4pm, to help us remember and give thanks for all that has been? I will kick off that round of gratitudes: 

I heard a wise teacher say: Rather than dying trying to be remembered, we could instead die remembering. Perhaps the same could be said about living. I remember the reckless generosity of the landowners who have offered land and buildings – a home for the Farm – for no charge. I remember the regular arrival of Rains, without whom there would have been no food. I remember the courage of the many humans who pushed aside the palate of possibility to gather and labor together in the shadow of a darkening storm of ecological and social trouble. I remember that I was kept alive by their courage. And I mean this quite literally. I remember the immense care with which my co-workers on the Farm Team – Erik, Erika, Evan, Ava, and Collin – spoke in our many hours of meetings. I remember learning about how to be human as I listened. I remember many hundreds of neighbors who, despite their confusion as what it meant to receive food as a gift, came to the Stand to pick up Soup and Bread and to share their stories, their laughter, and their heartbreak with us. I remember all of the small and large kindnesses that have woven the cloth that now provides shelter in the storm. Shelter and comfort are not the same thing, it turns out. I remember Enid and the host of other Elders who have, by their wisdoms, given form to the work. I remember feasts of epic proportion, the many songs, and the thousands of yogurt containers dropped off and washed and sent back out filled with Soup. I remember learning that I am hopelessly indebted to a host of soils, plants, animals, humans, waters and weathers, that this is the condition of being alive. The condition of being part of a family. May that my labors contribute to the health of the whole.  

With love, Adam

Here is the list:

  1. Soup and Bread Gift Distribution this Friday 10/1, 4-6pm. We will have hundreds of loaves of fresh Bread and two delicious Soups, made from carefully grown and gleaned ingredients, all offered as a gift to anyone who is hungry for any reason. The Brush Brook Soup is made with hearty chunks of gleaned Winter Squash and Potatoes as well as Tomatoes, Green Beans, Basil, Sage, Fennel and Thyme from the Garden, slow-roasted Leg of Lamb and rich Bone Broth. The Vegetarian Soup includes: Pureed Carrot, Sweet Potato, Tomato, Potato, Garlic Scapes, fresh Garden Herbs(Thyme, Sage and Savory). 
  2. Our Work Day will be Sunday 1-4pm and will include vegetable processing and soup making, as well as pasture and garden work. Please join us! 
  3. If you are willing to make a financial gift towards the remaining September Budget Request of $89, you can do so HERE. 
  1. Visioning Statements from the Community Conversation: Long Term Relationship to Land // Listening. – Evan 

We long to build relationship with the land. I don’t quite know what this means, but I’m trying to find out, slowly and steadily. For me I suspect it means listening, that is, paying Exquisite Attention to the landscape: how it speaks through chickadee, babbles as brook, shapes a Fall breeze, and drains in certain spots of the pasture. It might mean balancing nutrients over the years, attempting to give more than we take, and slowing down until the rhythms of these old hills start to come alive to the senses. I imagine it could mean knowing a place well enough to ask it to feed you, and to feed that place in return.

We wonder what it would look like to belong to a piece of land, instead of the other way around.

This longing would be made more possible by long-term access to land, and it requires being able to live, albeit lightly, in that place. Currently the farm team is largely scattered throughout Huntington, renting apartments or house-sitting for folks with multiple homes. We’re deeply grateful to live here at all, and we carry deep longings to live in the same sites where we labor, grow, graze, and feed. This could look many ways: we are open to gift-based land use agreements, long-term leases, or even to purchasing property.

We know that housing is quite the mountain to climb. The truth is that when we imagine living in ways that have a low ecological and economic footprint, it’s sometimes Town and State regulations that seem to be the biggest barriers. We see the importance of environmental regulations, and wonder if there aren’t ways in which we could be sharing land and infrastructure much more deeply. As a Farm Team we have the skills and resources to build small houses and outhouses that we feel would honor the waters and soils, but are increasingly prohibited from using them by the Town and State. So we are asking for your help navigating this regulatory realm: will you join us in the beauty and tedium of imagining ways of living together, to the benefit of a place?

We ask only because we believe that long-term access to a place might enable us to better serve the land, and allow far more food gifts to flow outward into the community than has so far been possible.

Here is what you will find in this Letter:

  1. FINANCIAL GIFT REQUEST – Detailed September 2021 Budget

With Great Care, 

Adam 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 28
Gifts Received in September – Thank you! $4,941.47
Remaining Budget 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 $680.00
   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 $82.10

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!