Hellos and Goodbyes

At the top of the hill and end of the dirt road folks gathered from near and far to hunt for their special Christmas tree.  Inside Lew’s barn; gloves dried on the rack, saws hung from the wall, Gloria whizzed through the credit cards and directed people to the Floating Bridge Coop display while the electric train circumnavigated the nook made cozy by the woodstove. What a fun addition to now have Lew in the Cooperative and what a splendid place to get a tree.

Just down the hill another woodstove cozied an adorable outbuilding as Jennifer’s Twin Pond Retreat hosted a gorgeous array of neighborhood crafts and food.  The room and crowd glowed all weekend as we connected with neighbors and met wonderful new folks.  We enjoyed Vermont Life type moments. If you missed it, some gift baskets combining great Coop gems are on sale at our farmstand.

On the next ridge west, Diane Imrie delighted visitors to our farm with scrumptious squash soup, her kale and fennel salad, one of our roasts which she browned handsomely and dessert!  What a treat to have her expertise and enthusiasm on the farm.  Look for an upcoming article about Diane, Cooking Close to Home and the impressive successes Diane and her colleagues have had at Fletcher Allen by Josey Hastings in the Randolph Herald.  And if you missed the event but wanted one or more cookbooks for the holidays, we have some copies for sale at the farmstand.

On this theme of welcoming the new, it is with HUGE waves of relief that we invite you to glimpse the shiny new hoop houses…  And that we say goodbye to the troubles of ice collection on the single ply ridge vent.  The plastic, two layers filled with lofty air bubbles, will save us roughly 40 person hours this winter in snow removal and care. Hats off… gloves too so we can clap louder… to Mike Feiner, Jaska, Sophie and Mark Farley for enabling it to happen on a rare, calm December day.


With hellos, there are also goodbyes.

This week and next week we say some big goodbyes to our Egyptian named livestock.  Sphinx and the Pyramids (the pigs) this week and the goats from Tarhir through Sahara, Nile and Isis next week.  Each time we say goodbye to a set of animals, there is a mix of sadness and satisfaction.  We do love them all.  Rose Wall captured some of the joy they bring in photos this summer.

These pigs have been great – from their early days scurrying around the barn to their summer, fall and early winter out on pasture. They have been a key piece of the pasture expansion team.   Getting in where the logger couldn’t to open up some new places for pigs and goats to forage next year.   And sphinx of course warmed all of our hearts as she recouped last spring in the greenhouse before rejoining her litter.  We’ll miss their snorts, wet noses and love of belly rubs.

We are also proud to have given them a good life from start to finish.  Happy, healthy, and fully expressing their pigness – from rooting and grazing to enjoying loads of apples from the neighborhood and Liberty Orchard (thanks to Brad at All Together Farm).    Their months of rotating from pasture to pasture, eating grass, bugs, roots and whatever else they find in that dirt along with mounds of crop gleanings not only kept them happy, we believe it also creates healthy, delicious meat.

We will miss them all, we always do.  But we are so pleased they will be providing delicious nutrition to so many people in the area.

And the cycle continues.  The goats and sows are pregnant, working on developing the next crew for us to love, care for and by whom we will be nourished.