Farmrun

Transpiration(s)

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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.

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Creative Progress

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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. 

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Ultimate Pleasure

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.

Flimflammers; Or, Farming Is Hard But Not Hard

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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. 

stitchdownfarm@gmail.com  |  @stitchdownfarm  | farmrun.com/stitchdown

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Simultaneity

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Isn’t it miraculous this organic quality of resilience? Organic in the sense of organic, not the marketing farce. Carbonaceous folks. You and me and the trees. 

The gale force may bend our tips to the limits, and though the flavors of the other side may seep in, our fibers hold strong. Stretched, tensile, pressurized, they are trustworthy. Time and again, they are trustworthy.

This is the time when we are reminded of the miracles. Our permission is not required, we are allowed the laziest of epiphanies. We ignorantly assume responsibility for the poems that have been etched by vibrations too deep to be accommodated by our porcelain eyes.

This is a time when opposites are lain gracefully and not gracefully upon each other. This is a time, repeated indefinitely, infinitely, in which Life succeeds Death succeeds Birth and all are concurrent. This is a time when a mere blink differentiates the luminous and turbid. One day rain, the next sun. One moment reason, the next, tumult. One day sod, the next, soil. 

It is a confusing time, this time, for with every March comes a new March, though with each successive turn, there are more considerations. There is trajectory, a grand architecture being composed as delicately sometimes as a silkworm soaring on the tips of a golden siesta breeze. The blueprints, however, are unavailable for public disclosure. 

They lurk in the shadows. The universe guards the plans closely, though expends no energy in their concealment. This is our duty. It is an honor and privilege. It is a puzzle with no edge pieces,  a unifying point of camaraderie for us humans. 

There are moments through the course of our butterfly lives whereby all of It seems to be stacked upon us. On our backs, worn like a sweaty backcountry pack . Towering sky high, each step feels like an insurmountable liability. What if it all comes crumbling down? 

There are moments when we are absolved. When we find lightness in being and run full force top speed racecar driver steamwhistle through the tall grass screaming with tears streaming and legs aching coursing with nothing but love and a deep reverence for our presence. 

There are moments when nothing that happens seems mundane. All is exciting and moving towards the direction of the future and we feel comfort. 

There are moments when the covers feel lead weighted, where nothing is possible and all improbable. When the impending reality of mortality and chaos are just too heavy to take action against any of the bad guys. 

There are moments where you just can’t get enough roasted potatoes and sauerkraut. You wonder why anyone eats anything else and delight in every bite. 

There are moments where everything makes sense. Everything is a sign and everything is everything. Just as frequently are those in which every hole is round, your pegs invariably square, at which point syntax is futile. 

There are moments of every description, to which pertain every adjective in the rainbow. The curious phenomenon of these infinite times, is that there is no distinction. All are present, simultaneously.

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Rebirth

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This poster is the daughter of the Many & Earnest poster we created in the winter of 2013.

Hogstone closes it’s doors for a few months in the depths of winter. For the purposes of hibernation, regrouping and contextualizing. Our goal was to announce the arrival of spring, and with it, the re-opening of Hogstone to the public.

We sought to bring forth the joy that the vegetable farmer feels as we approach the equinox. The historic context of humans the world over, awakening suddenly to find that the earth has, in it’s own patient, eternally wise way, been preparing her children all winter long. Her work finally comes to bear as we simple humans notice the nettles sprouting, the blossoms showing and the buds peeking.

We dove into the globally recognized figure of Ostara. Eostre. Austro. Easter. Christ. Who are beacons of the cycle. Of the reckoning. Of the rebirth of all that we know and all that we ever wish to believe in. It is the reconvening of hope and fertility. It is the beginning, which follows the end, and we rejoice in our inspiration. For we are ready to live once again.

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