musings from farmer al

Winter, roots & the absence of greens: A lesson in patience

Winter, roots & the absence of greens: A lesson in patience

The moral of this winter: A commitment to locally grown food requires patience and understanding for both plants and the humans who grow them. Farmers: You're not doing anything wrong - it's just cold, so chill out. (That was a winter pun. Sorry. Ignore it.)

Frost is here

Us New Englanders were pretty spoiled with the recent fall weather...up until a few nights ago when the frost arrived. And, it looks like it's sticking around. At the farm, there's a stillness that the frost brings, sort of like a punctuation mark at the end of a very busy season. This morning, while we were waiting for things to warm up, I had the task of walking the old farm dog, Max, around the property. Buddled up, tea in hand and Max in tow, I took in the frost.

(1) The quarry ponds awake. (2) Even the insidious mugwort can be admired in the frost. (3) Frosted boots. (4) Bedazzled grass. (5) Max, the resident farm dog, enjoys the morning jaunt. (6) Goldenrod. (7) Clover. (Hunts Brook Farm, October 25, 2013 - A.Gross)

If you can brave getting out of your cozy bed in the morning, I encourage you to wake up a bit earlier and experience this time of day. You'll feel surprisingly refreshed! 

A visit to Mystic Seaport

Mystic Seaport was one of my favorite places to visit when I was growing up. Because I was born a giant nerd, I remember requesting to visit there for my birthday. I also thoroughly enjoyed school field trips to the historic site. I never went as far as to dress up in a costume or sing sea shanties, but I was never embarassed to show my enthusiasm. (Ah, geek confidence - can't beat it!) Although I've lived in the southeastern part of Connecticut for two years now, I haven't visited my ol' stomping grounds - until a few weekends ago!

I returned to the Seaport with my friend (hi, Christina!) to tour the site because her wedding reception will be there next September and we wanted to get some decorating ideas. (We became aware, based on the docents' surprised but enthusiastic greetings in different locations, that we, as two female 20-somethings, were not the organization's typical demographic.) We toured on a beautiful fall day, and I took a few shots to share...

Late summer sights

I've always appreciated late summer in New England. During early morning harvests, the air is a bit more biting than a few weeks prior and it smells of early, falling foliage. I seem to feel most rooted to my surroundings during this time of year as we head into autumn. It's also a time filled with mixed emotions, as the end of the farming season is in sight, but the harvest is still plentiful. Here are a few shots from the farm and some recent trips:

We abuse land because we see it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.
— Aldo Leopold