Summer’s Embers

September 1, 2013

I’ve been so busy farming and studying herbalism through my course with the Gaia School of Healing that I’ve fallen behind on posting. My juices are brewing though, I assure you. I’ve been reading a lot about shamanism, connecting with plants, and Earth-based healing. I can’t wait to share once I feel that I’ve learned enough to start teaching. Until then, here is a newsletter I wrote for our shareholders at Newton Community Farm. Much love and gratitude.

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August always feels like a month of change to me, like a swelling, a meeting of two worlds, that of ripeness and of slowing. I learned through my studies of ecology that the edges of ecosystems are brimming with life and productivity. Where the forest meets the plain, woodland species and prairie creatures coexist, along with the special plants and animals that survive only at that union. The changing of the seasons is a rich meeting place as well.  The transition from summer to fall asks us to be thankful, and revel in the blessings and bounty of the slow growing crops that got their start when the days were longer and are now offering their fruits.  Tomatoes and eggplants have been coming in nicely, and the peppers are near. Watching the late peppers finally form and start to size up has helped me remember the miracle of a crop growing to fullness, a wonderful appreciation that can be hard to hold on to during these days of lugging heavy buckets of cucumbers from the field to the barn.

The bountiful harvest of August comes with the realization that summer’s end is drawing near. Right about now the most sensitive leaves let go of their green, allowing their home trees to settle into shorter days.  The milder temperatures and darker mornings ease us into change. Help us welcome it in as we undergo construction on our historic barn. You’ll notice this week that we have cleared out almost everything in preparation for a new floor, among other improvements. After this week we’ll be setting up the share under a tent to let the work crew work. In a lot of ways the construction represents the spirit of the season. It has been busy and hectic getting everything sorted and moved, much like getting all of your vegetables harvested and washed for distribution. But at the same time, we are making room, clearing out, and settling down, bracing ourselves for fall.

Thank you for your support and patience and for sharing this season with us.

It is August That Brings

By Douglass Decandia
(found in The New Farmers Almanac by the Greenhorns)

it is August that brings the communion of Summer and Autumn.
these are the days of sweat and sweaters, of cool morning and warm noon.
the fruit has been set and the Will to ripen strong upon the plant and in the belly of the collector.
the field grows in deep color as the forest becomes a pallet for the earth’s brush.
seeds fall from broken pods and roots grow stronger as Summer calms and the Wild Ones fill upon her bounty.
These are the days when our body begins to slow and the cool airs clean the chambers of our mind.

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