By Hand with Heart

La Grelinette, Broadfork

It’s been another tough start to the season. We’ve been working the market garden with hand tools and a leaky hose… and with just one or two of us at any one time. We’ve been looking for experienced volunteers all season. Volunteers because last year was a total financial loss. We gave away nearly everything to local families in need. We lost all of our restaurant business in the pandemic and it hasn’t recovered. We made the decision to keep focusing on serving local families and let the restaurant business return if and when it will.

Our CSA is very small. At first we were surprised because we expected that more of the folks that came last season would be able to come back and support us that way. But that’s nothing to do with the character of our community and everything to do with the fact that we – none of us – have recovered financially from the past year’s events. It’ll take a while yet. In a couple of weeks, our CSA will close and we’ll plan to sell everything else via farmstand sales.

And speaking of farmstands… we’re getting ready to order a proper farm shop building. It was supposed to be so simple. Call the fella, tell him what we want, pay the bill. But of course, we needed to check zoning and right-to-farm by-laws so we make sure we’re all copacetic with the town. And they didn’t really know what to do with us. So now we’ve got to go through the process of plotting and drawing the whole thing out and submitting that for approval. We fully expect that this will also involve at least one visit, which will take some time. It’s hard to be patient.

But our ancestors had it harder. They didn’t have power tools to repair. If they wanted a farm shop, they had to build it by hand. It’s possible they had more help from the community for these things. The point is, they didn’t have the luxury of grousing about it or writing blog posts about it. For as hard as it has been, we are still blessed.

(If you like the artwork above, you can pick up a print of it on our shop. Your purchases keep us going and we are so grateful.)

By Hand with Heart


Just a woman trying to leave this place better than she found it. Farmer. Teacher. Creator. Cook.

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