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Over the past year and half, Brush Brook Community Farm has grown a small flock of sheep and herd of cows for lamb and beef, and also grown, gathered, gleaned, and received gifts of many vegetables, fruits, eggs, syrup, and breads. These foods have been cooked, seasoned, and served by many neighborly hands at five Gratitude Feasts, dinners offered as a Gift to anyone who is hungry for any reason. Over 500 meals have been served.
The cultivation of an etiquette of Gratitude is central to the Culture Work of the farm. Woven through the daily work on the Farm, Gratitude is spoken aloud as Praise. This spoken Praise animates the growing relationship between people and place. The old Town Hall, set with long tables, houses the monthly Gratitude Feasts, where this etiquette of Gratitude is more publicly articulated as a song and a blessing before the food is served. Great joy, song and dance has filled the historic Town Hall at each of these Gratitude Feasts, along with some anticipated confusion about the meaning of the Gifts being given and received.
To the consternation of some, there has never been a donation jar at the Gratitude Feasts. This is intentional, as there is the possibility that one’s inability to put money in the jar might discourage them from coming next time. Many good neighbors, having received the gift of these meals, have asked how they can financially support the work of the Farm. We haven’t been ready, until now, to answer that question.
Our final Feast of the season, scheduled for April 5, was cancelled due to the arrival of the corona virus. We are working on plans to begin offering soup for pickup on Friday afternoon, made from the farm’s carefully grown and gleaned ingredients. Information on the soup will be sent out with a weekly invitation to pick up bread from the Bakery.