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Newsletter 12/1/21

By johnh | December 1, 2021

Photo: John Hadden Greetings Friends and Neighbors, Hemlock bends low. Snow draped. North Wind builds, whistling into the snow-muffled Night. We walk the fence lines. Also bent low. In places, pulled to the ground. Our gloved hands pinch the lines to clear heavy clung Ice and Snow, and the lines spring taut again. We are…

Newsletter 11/24/21

By johnh | November 24, 2021

Greetings Friends and Neighbors, Looking back over three years of Brush Brook Community Farm, there are so many small interactions that could have gone differently. Differences that could have been carried more skillfully. Or simply named more directly. Suddenly, and without notice, we step into the terrain of apology. As the bricks in the bread…

Newsletter 11/17/21

By johnh | November 17, 2021

Photo: Dick Mitchell Greetings Friends and Neighbors, Collin’s left hand is wrapped in a dish towels to stop the bleeding when we are called in to see the receiving nurse at the Urgent Care Center. It’s a knife wound, and stitches will be required. When she asks how it happened, Collin replies, “I was slaughtering…

Newsletter 11/10/21

By johnh | November 10, 2021

Greetings Friends and Neighbors, The herd matriarchs – Josie, Tigger, Sweet Pea, Loretta and Topsy – stand with willing resignation as we adorn them. Or is it ‘adore’ them? We’ve made garlands for their necks – Hemlock and Pine boughs, dried Corn┬átassels, Goldenrod fuzz, silver Willow – and gathered cowbells of various sizes and tones.…

Newsletter 11/3/21

By johnh | November 3, 2021

Photo: Ben Sklar Greetings Friends and Neighbors, November dawns clear-skyed, cloud-speckled and blue-eyed. Swollen Brook and River remember recent heavy Rains. Lingering Aspens splash silver-brown hardwood hillsides with brilliant yellow. The smell of woodsmoke and the sound of wood-stacking drift down-valley on the drying breeze. The vet meets us in the pasture to examine sodden,…

Newsletter 10/27/21

By johnh | October 27, 2021

Photo: Ben Sklar Greetings Friends and Neighbors, Come Frost. Paint the Meadow glitter-bright before Sun crests the Ridge. Come hard Frost. Turn frozen footsteps black by mid-day. Early morning movements marked for all to see. Bend down the leaves of Tomato and Basil, Nasturtium. Translucent, wilted. Cooked by cold. Come Rain. Come Cold Rain. Bend…

Newsletter 10/20/21

By johnh | October 20, 2021

Photo: Dick Mitchell Greetings Friends and Neighbors, We say our final goodbyes as darkness descends on a bright day of gathering. The cider presses are sprayed down, soup bowls washed, chairs stacked, musical instruments clicked into carrying cases, feasting tables folded and put away. Rain arrives on cue, tapping the metal roof as I lay…

Newsletter 10/13/21

By johnh | October 13, 2021

Greetings Friends and Neighbors, The fourth to last Friday Soup and Bread Gift Distribution arrives and turns into an extravagant affair. The Distro band forms a quartet to serenade Father Sun as he drops below the Western Hills. The bouquet on the table includes riotous red Sumac and bright purple Asters. Three-year-old Hamish asks Erika…

Newsletter 10/6/21

By johnh | October 6, 2021

Photo: John Hadden Greetings Friends and Neighbors, South Wind howls in the treetops, ushering in unseasonably warm nights and mild, moist days. If not for the lengthening darkness and the autumnal display on the hillsides, one could mistake the season for another. The Valley is postcard perfect this time of year. Brilliant foliage, abundant wildlife,…

Newsletter 9/29/21

By johnh | September 29, 2021

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…