Namaste New Friends

 

October has been a beautiful month. It is the most revealing and acute of convergences, the cusp. It’s the Fall of Summer and autumnal transition to Winter. For farm and farmer this shift is grater than that of seasons, colors, smells and sounds. It’s a true closing. The hard morning freezes instantly melts cellulose, fades chlorophyll and buckles plants towards the soil. The time for crops to decompose and become rich strata to sustain future seasons’. In delicate tow of that first hard frost is the perfectly tied bow on the package, the stamp on the letter – the period at the end of the exquisite sentence that details out a growing season overflowing with blessings and abundance. Not The End, but rather the last sentence of the long chapter titled somewhere along the lines of, ‘Season #1: The Bounty of Homeward Bounty’. There is something very delicate about this forced resignation, mother nature’s pink slip. It’s the fine print, “You too have your season, Farmer, relax already. Read a good book or two, seek out the best dehydrated food recipes, put on some weight and get excited for the wealth of new season possibilities!

Yes, those hard frosts have come and sadly the farm has seen lovelier days. I feel very thankful however, that Homeward Bounty hosted a very special visitor before those killing frosts. On that Autumn morning we were able to pick the last few handfuls of peppers, analyze numerous seed crops and shared inspiring conversations that left me warm and giddy inside!

Me with Sunita Rao of Vanasatree

It was months ago when Flick, a CSA member mentioned that his friend, Sunita Rao, would be visiting from India and he wanted to bring her to the farm. Before I knew it, that week had come. I met Flick, Jennifer and Sunita Rao on the farm for a nice morning tour. Over fresh pumpkin bread, homemade jam and amazing baked pears, we shared our thoughts on plant diversity, open pollinated seed varieties and about the great abundance that is yielded from 1/2 acre of land. Our inspiring conversations left me feeling all warm and giddy inside. Sunita Rao is quite the inspiring individual and I feel so honored to be in contact with her and to call her a friend! She’s the founder of Vanasatree – The Malnad Forest Garden and Seed Keepers’ Collective in Karnataka, India. Vanasatree promotes food security and autonomy through biodiversity and the use and preservation of traditional seeds. Visit http://www.vanastree.org to learn more about this inspiring collective.

Jennifer, Sunita and I infront of this year’s colorful squash harvest.

Looking at mangel beets. An experimental winter crop for the Copeland’s goats, horses and cows.

Trying the fresh seeds of ‘Black Cumin’ -Nigella Sativa

 

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On This Harvest Moon

On this Harvest Moon we gathered; we gathered our party gear, our blessings, our open arms for new friends and raise our glasses to the bounty, color, the unyielding wealth and gifts of this year’s growing season, to health, to our community, to strength and support and to the balance.

“The distance between us is holy ground
To be traversed feet bare,
Arms raised in joyous dance
So that it is crossed.
And the tracks of our pilgrimage shine in the darkness
To light our coming together
In a bright and steady light.”

― Raphael Jesus Gonzales

(thank you Isaac)

This season has not come to completion enough to reflect on it as if it were not still in the present. As I write, there are still plants growing in their loamy beds, their green leaves waving to neighbors across the way, moving in conversation like that of my Italian Grandmother’s. There are rows of new crops that love the open star nights of autumn and rows of crops dying, drying to golden hews, dissolved images of plants crisp, yet holding within rattling pods their genetic wealth to be expressed in future generations, future seasons.

It’s hard to resist reflections. This is time of year the harvest moon rises. The sun, persistently warm, supervises the cusp  of summer and fall harvest. Tomatoes still ripen on the vine, peppers marble to mature colors, lemon cucumbers relentlessly populate under dense canopies, all in tandem with crops ready to be cured for winter. Winter squash vines die back with stems becoming hard and corky. The onions have been pulled and set to develop papery skins, booking them for storage success.

It is also during this time of year where I feel I can start coming up for longer breaths of air. Not to my surprise, but always to my deep gratitude I’m welcomed by a song of love and support by the most amazing community of people; who have been the driving force and foundation of my focus and fortitude.

**THE FIRST ANNUAL HOMEWARD BOUNTY HARVEST GATHERING**

This past Sunday marked a special event, the First Annual Homeward Bounty Harvest Gathering! It was a magical night, luminated under a crystalline Harvest Moon and hosted on the soil that gave and grew so much. A lovely meal was shared with friends of the farm, family and CSA members. The afternoon and night was pure perfection!

Farm Tour

Harvest Moon Rising