“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is ‘thank you’ it will be enough.” ~Meister Eckhart
After reaching our fundraising goal a week ago, I’ve been saying thank you a lot, which is not unusual for me. My journal entries always end with “thank you,” and my meals always begin with it. Most of the time, I’m not saying thank you for anything in particular, but just for the purpose of putting thanks into the world and to practice opening myself to what may come. What has come lately has been both overwhelming and reassuring: first the loss, then the support of a community, and finally re-learning how loss and emptiness make way for renewal and possibility. As I was going through the letters we received today, I came upon one from Tangletown Farm that I had missed. We don’t know Lila and David very well beyond hellos at the Montpelier Farmers Market, but we have a mutual friend who had been telling them about us. Their note held the promise of a new start, reading “I hope you recover well and have a fabulous year. It is all so exciting, isn’t it? If you need anything, please don’t hesitate to ask, we always try to help out.” It went on from there, sending good wishes from their family, and it struck me how many farmers have donated to us.
Farmers are not ones who typically have much extra time, and often not extra money, especially in the spring when seeds, animals and new supplies are being purchased. What farmers do have, though, is the understanding of what it means to recover from losses, what it means to tie yourself to a place and give everything to it, and the understanding that when all else is pulled away, community is the most valuable thing we have. We want to take this time to thank all the farmers who have donated to us and supported us in many ways in the aftermath of the fire. Some of these farms we know well, some just a little, and some not at all. In no particular order, thank you thank you thank you to:Applecheek Farm Pete’s Greens High Ledge Farm Green Mountain Girls Farm Tangletown Farm Knoll Farm Montpelier Farmers Market Vendors Hatchbrook Gardens High Mowing Organic Seeds Provender Farm Surfing Veggie Farm Thunder Basin Maple Works Calypso Farm Bloodroot Farm Proud Peasant Farm
If we have missed anyone that should be on this list, thank you to you, too.
In the past six months as Edge and I have spun years worth of conversations, ideas and dreams into the actual planning and workings of a farm, we have learned the necessity of seeing our farm as a business (after all, we do want this farm to support us both with food and money), but we always come back to the fact that we are choosing to do this for a lifestyle that deepens our connection to the land and the people around us. This fire and the recovery process has highlighted the difference between farming and other businesses: though there is competition, there is the immediate offering of help when it’s needed, the recognition that we are all working toward the same goal of creating good food and what it takes to do that, and most importantly, there is a deep sense of community. As Edge and I begin our farm, we strive to put down roots that extend out to the whole community as well, and will do our best to give back all the support we’ve received. So, thank you again, and I’m sure many more times to come.