Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Open Heart Farm

At the end of season I will often do a year in review.  Well, Open Heart Farm is ending as we know it, so I am doing a farm in review.  Let me preface that review, by addressing your shock.  Open Heart Farm at the very least has to take a pause between beats.  It will take a while to assess whether it will recommence elsewhere or not, and in what form.  Rachel and I have been talking about a possible retreat involving writing, performance arts etc that would also have the food growing at part of it.  This is an idea that is resurfacing after about a 20 year preparation.  When we were first talking about it, I was in Iowa getting an MFA in creative writing, and had still never set foot on a farm (that first bite of feed corn was a real surprise).  The skill set has changed a little since then.  The desire to live in the city has changed a little since then.  The ability to farm successfully in this particular floodplain known as the Intervale has changed since then.

I guess rather than go through some point-by-point plus-and-minus grading of the whole life of the farm, something more appropriate for a business strategy session (that can happen later if/when something new (re)develops) I would just like to appreciate it for the life it had.  I would say we (me, Rachel, Ciaran, Francis, everyone who worked with me, members of the CSA . . .) gave it alot, and it gave us alot back in terms of food, so much learning about so many things (plants, tractors, rules and regulations) and even most of a livelihood for eight years.

The whole thing reminds me of this bit from Metropolitan

Charlie Black: Fourierism was tried in the late nineteenth century... and it failed. Wasn't Brookfarm Fourierist? It failed.
Tom Townsend: That's debatable.
Charlie Black: Whether Brookfarm failed?
Tom Townsend: That it ceased to exist, I'll grant you, but whether or not it failed cannot be definitively said.
Charlie Black: Well, for me, ceasing to exist is - is failure. I mean, that's pretty definitive.
Tom Townsend: Well, everyone ceases to exist. Doesn't mean everyone's a failure.

 Like I said, I'm not even sure yet OHF has ceased to exist.  Below is a picture of a curly willow that we sprouted from Ciaran's Morning garden a year ago, now planted in this year's fire pit.  These things love water.

Monday, October 07, 2013


Turnips generally get the short shrift, and while I doubt I'm going to start eating them even once a week for the next five months until we have Spring again, these four recipes do make it seem possible to imagine involving them in something every other week.  Particularly the ginger version seems adaptable to a mix including carrots and parsnips and even rutabaga.

We do have two more weeks after this week.  More carrots and garlic coming our way.  Probably cabbages, both napa and regular, kale, spinach, and who knows what else.