October News 2011
The crunch of the frost under my boots this morning brings another growing season on the farm near its conclusion. This week is the last shared harvest for our CSA members and the first of the October hayrides and pumpkin picking weekends. As I sat down to write to you tonight, I began by rereading some of my newsletters from Octobers past. I have written before about the frost, the hayrides, the singular color of the maples on the ridge across from the farm – the same maples I am staring at through sunset light this evening. Rather than blush with the fear of sounding like a broken record in these letters, I am touched to see rhythms of farm life starting to wear a footpath through my mind, my heart, and my writing. A chilly October evening; warming my breaths by blowing through the turtle neck of my sweater; the same sweater that I shed at noon under the crisp sun of this remarkably cloudless day. It has been the rainiest, sloppiest August and September I have ever known; the firewood is not dry yet; I have no idea where we can find second cutting hay for the sheep and how we will afford it - but wild horses couldn’t drag me from New England in October.
I have been a farmer now for five years, and though I am still very much a novice, every once in a great while on the farm I do something that feels so good and familiar that I wonder if there isn’t some truth to what people say about having something “in your blood.” In me, it does not show itself as an aptitude, but rather a sense of the familiar. I sure don’t have tractor repair or housekeeping in my blood, but last week when one of our lambs was injured and I had to sit with her in my lap on the barn floor for a portion of time, I began to think maybe my people were sheep people. Given my last name, Brewster, I suppose technically my people were beer makers – but somewhere in there, I bet there was a shepherdess or two. In point of fact, human beings have been farming for 10,000 years and for many of those years agriculture was pretty much at the center of every person’s life; so, in truth, all of us have farming in our blood.
I wonder for those of you reading this little letter, what particular aspect of agriculture would sit right with you, tapping into a rootstock long neglected. What kind of farmer were you? If your answer is not clear, then come join us for a hayride to tour all the different aspects of our operation, and explore your inner farmer! And if your answer is clear to you, come join us anyway – it’s so much fun!
HAYRIDES, PUMPKIN PICKING, and PICK YOUR OWN VEGETABLES: 10am-5pm Saturdays and Sundays and Columbus Day, too. The hayride will introduce you to our livestock and crop fields and drive you past some of what we think are the most beautiful views in Ridgefield. From our fields on this ridge, enjoy finding your jack-o-lantern, and try your hand at harvesting some organic vegetables fresh from the farm. $5 per person for a hayride. Pumpkins and vegetables and flowers priced per pound/stem. Thank you for supporting local organic farms and purchasing a locally grown pumpkin.
All the best,