The world has turned cold, and beautifully so. There is solid ground to walk on, at least for a bit. The horses’ hooves do not sink an inch or three into the wet mud, but stay resolutely on top of the frozen earth. And though we have to find the liquid water in their water trough each morning with a digging bar, I still prefer a cold winter to a saturated and muddy one. If the outside feels too cold, I am just not wearing enough clothes.
While we go to the farm daily to care for the horses and perform a variety of small tasks, the bulk of our working hours are spent indoors: planning, buying, deciding, thinking, mapping, updating, e-mailing. We do much office work—small tasks which seem trite and mostly insignificant each on their own, though together we hope will amount to something substantial: let’s just call it a well-managed farm. And while there are less of what farmer Stephen Leslie calls “small chance moments of rapture” found in “the intimacy of our farm landscape,” the rapture is still hidden in what is becoming.
With The Holidays behind us, and the days increasing in length, we have collectively begun to look ahead into the New Year. Some people choose this time of year to make resolutions, to set intentions for the 12 months ahead; while the specificities of this tradition never particularly spoke to me, it is easy for me to evoke the sentiment behind this practice, and find in January the dawning of what is to come before us.
The daily increase of light indicates, to me, a turning toward momentum and movement, intention and action. While we still have at least a few more weeks of solid hibernation, it is this shift toward the lengthening days which speaks to me, which gives me permission to initiate action, like a germinating seed whose first unfolding is invisible, just the setting out of a thin root hair.
In our turning toward momentum and movement at Good Work Farm, we have begun to market our CSA shares for 2015. In the name of self-sustainability, we will be growing our CSA next season to encompass 100 families. With over a third of our CSA shares already sold, we do not anticipate facing difficulty in marketing our shares to allow for this expansion, however, if you are planning on joining us in 2015 but have not already committed, we invite and encourage you to send in you Commitment Form now! It is a confirmation of our work to know that our CSA families will be returning to join us again—so please, send in your member forms, and share your experience with others; help us grow in 2015.
While attending a workshop this winter on attracting and retaining CSA Members, the presenters reminded me of what I already knew to be true, and what I hope we are able to convey to you though our words and work: it is you, our CSA Members, who give us the base of support out of which to expand our membership. If you have enjoyed your CSA experience with Good Work Farm, then pass it on. Tell a friend, tell a neighbor, tell your dental hygienist, your pastor, your niece, your mail carrier, the stranger buying organic salad mix at the grocery store. Try as we might to get our name out there, you're still our best marketing. So thank you.
If joining our CSA is a strain on your budget, we encourage you to use the assistance from the Good Food Fund to enable you and your family to eat local, sustainable, produce.
In light of our expanding to serve 25 additional families, we will also be hiring a part-time employee this season. If you or someone you know is interested in joining our farm crew, check out our job posting for more information.
This Spring, we are pleased to welcome 100 layer hens onto our farm to fertilize and improve our pastures, diversify our farming operation, entertain us with their quirks, and provide our CSA members with farm-fresh, pastured, organically-fed eggs. Eggs will be available through an egg CSA, which will run for 24 weeks during our vegetable CSA. You can learn more about our Pastured Egg CSA and join our Egg CSA now!
We look forward to seeing you and growing food for you in the Spring.
Felize Aňo Nuevo,
Anton and Lisa
by Mary Oliver
Close to the edge. Almost
bunch up and boil down
from the north of the white bear.
This tree-splitting morning
I dream of his fat tracks,
the lifesaving suet.
I think of summer with its luminous fruit,
blossoms rounding to berries, leaves,
handfuls of grain.
Maybe what cold is, is the time
we measure the love we have always had, secretly,
for our own bones, the hard knife-edged love
for the warm river of the I, beyond all else; maybe
that is what it means the beauty
of the blue shark cruising toward the tumbling seals.
In the season of snow,
in the immeasurable cold,
we grow cruel but honest; we keep
if we can, taking one after another
the necessary bodies of others, the many
crushed red flowers.
Anton M. Shannon