Yesterday was our first CSA harvest out yonder at Stitchdown, the sake of the silence around here. Seems as though much of the computer time has been transformed into outside time of getting things done over these last few months.
On the roster of occurrences to share and develop astute critical analyses in the form of the written word and photographs are: the process of building a timber framed structure, starting with felling; death and place; the fluid spiritual nature of this farming enterprise; long term eyes; supreme uncertainty, decision making, and their role in pursuing prosperity; the value of expending energy building boxes for your CSA and other collateral improvements upon one’s’ brand identity; estate sales; and, last but not least - why is salad?
For now, here are some pictures of CSA day.
"The auction itself is pure poetry."
-Lynn Miller, 2013
Film to follow, shortly.
Here is more info, for you and / or your friends, grandmothers, tuba instrucors etc etc etc who live in or around Portland Oregon.
One thing out of the lots of things that I like about growing food are the daily accomplishments. Little snippets of purpose. Every day, every hour there are tasks on which you are making progress or sometimes even completing.
We all know that there is no back cover. No true Ends, everything is in progress always though sometimes, many times, we become lost in semantics, syntax, and shiny objects. All is shifting, indefinitely malleable. While we have lofty goals for One Day, we take pride and derive great joy from building fences, hoophouses and acting on our high falutin’ romantic unrealistic dreams of felling and hewing trees to timber frame a washing station / shed for our interim farmstead.
The following are snapshots of some occurrences that have recently occurred.
There is magnificent power in the process of creation. We experience it everyday, in the subtlest of ways.
I am a very fortunate human in regards to my privilege of proximity to said process. One could say it is my work. Provides my means. The dream. Or a piece, at least.
I believe it is easy to allow hopes dreams and romanticalizations to be distilled and oversimplified, particularly from a distance. Or lack of effort. It is all too alluring to slip into a grass is greener, they have it all figured out why don’t I mentality.
Black and white are figments, happiness is not an end, hard work bequeaths reward and creativity is requisite daily, not a dreamy someday. There is shit in every blessing and the treads on our soles are made for traction.
I am very excited to be working on a creative project with my good pal Jay up there on that magic island I so often write about.
We’ve begun production on a film. The end result, even the intentions of it’s creation, are yet murky. There are themes that are obvious. Strategies and styles that will undoubtedly be present. It will serve his businesses, Maple Rock Farm and Hogstone’s Wood Oven, but will not fall prey to mimetics.
The subject matter is timeless, wise, exciting and inspiring, and it is so the film will aim to be.
Recently wrapped this identity project for Rachel over at ROAR Seattle, a new organization that is establishing a mobile farmers market in Seattle. Cool.
These photos were fortunately unfortunately buried in the extremely organized, expertly tailored Farmrun archives for the better part of a year.
It is an honor and pleasure to present you with photographs of what I deem one of the greatest offerings of nobility, love, welfare and gratitude. For, as we all have experienced, pleasure exists at some magic confluence of labor, offering, creativity and faith.
The rare occasion and ability to offer a group of friends family and acquaintances 6 months of husbandry, 18 hours of attention, labor, and skill to celebrate the magnitude of abundance the phenomenon of a single swine provides, is a gift in and of itself.
To see the smiles spread across the crowd, like rhizomatic lighntning. The fat dripping down wrists and the effusive embracing of luxury, for just one meal. The gasps and guffaws and curiosities of nine year old boys running jumping cartwheeling at the splendor of a miraculous beast on the spit.
Furthermore, this roast in particular was carried out with two majorly wonderful humans, Jay and Jorgen, who are some of the humbly hardest working folks I have the pleasure of calling friends.
I hope you can join us at a roast someday soon.
Why do we do this to ourselves, they ask. Are you sure it’s worth it? Just for one season? Why put up a building? It’s going to be a lot of work.
I don’t blame anyone for suggesting it. I agree. By all conventional measures of reason, the answer is that we’re nuts. Crazy people. Loonies, space cadets, pie in the skyers. High falutin’ fat guzzl’n raw milk slurp’n 10” leather boot wear’n, broadfork ‘n’ axe sling’n flimflammers. And we are.
We’re romantic idealogues wading through partially adulterate, temporary expressions of our deeply rooted, inappropriately lofty, traditionally historically precedent dreams of Placedness.
We go through what we go through because we must. We put up greenhouses and harvest sapling fenceposts and grow itinerant short term farmsteads because we have no other options. Our context has been fractured, our access all but nullified - the fault of everyone.
In order that we continue to learn and grow, dream and aspire and continue on our long-term uphill low and slow march towards land-based labourful prosperity, we work long days hard days, wet, dirty, joyful powerful infuriating empowering illuminating days.
We work hard and do stupid things like starting vegetable farms in new locations every year because otherwise, we wouldn’t leave the house. We’d stay in the barn with lasertunnelvision making furniture, eschewing any prospect of human contact.
We’d be stuck in the garden tending our chicories for the kitchen. We work so hard to grow enough food for 10 families and a handful of restaurants because it creates accountability beyond our own intrinsically selfish selves. We get to meet people. Engage with them and engage them in our idealistic pursuits.
We get to share our wild dreams and hear about theirs. We get to see what other people do with the treasures this earth allows us to coax. We get to experience momentary epiphanic explosions of gratitude and pleasure in hosting friends at the table we built at the farm we built watching them eat the food we grew smiling the smiles they smile while telling those funny stories.
Our absurd idealism, excitement and energy begets a relationship with this place, this land, this community, irreproducible by other means. As I stated last week, in meager and excessive descriptors, the relationship is encompassing. Inclusive of all the emotions in the most intense manner in the space of fractions.
Rita and I decided to grow vegetables again this year, in our new location. We are blessed with a very kind neighbor who as agreed to let us annex his neglected hayfield. The piece sits, a majestic hayfield sandwich with christmas tree bread a slight southern slope and nice wide open welcome exposure. The light grows long, toasty and blinding in the evening. There is now tilled ground, a hoophouse and a truckload of composted manure spread. It is beginning to feel like a Place.
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