Close your eyes and remember a matriarch or provider in your family. Can you see the proud and satiated smile of someone who has provided a feast for their loved ones? Sharing the farm has created some of that satisfaction this week as the Williams College Winter Study class piled out of the van, and joined us for farmer lunch while the first Whole Farm Planning for Women Farmers class was underway in the barn under the leadership of other friends and mentors.
Similar blasts of our own renewed enthusiasm came during Cole Ward’s workshop, sharing a meal and hands-on learning with fellow local food adventurers. We look forward to more of this as we get to know the students better during their week-long residency and welcome Cole back for “Sausage making 101” this Saturday.
We also ventured out seeking perspective on the farm’s community and larger food system – great stories from the Elmer’s at Mountain Deer Taxidermy and an unforgettable look at the facilities and teamwork at Royal Butcher. And a thread of that same grand-motherly pride in sharing was evident in both places. Learning must be expanded by such intimacy.
When some in our wider farm community join us for the open session this Thursday evening, we could not meet with a more appropriate thinker and teacher for this intersection of farm-based learning on the food system. With her book Food, Farms and Community hot off the presses, Thursday evening after meetings in Montpelier and trundling off to the Hardwick Food Venture Center, we will look out from this farm’s vantage point at the food system with Lisa Chase. We know Lisa a one of Vermont’s agri-tourism thought leaders and I hope that sharing the story of her book feels as good to her as sharing our food and farm with all of you feels to us.