My friend Ray, of Applefield Farm, is gracious enough, and has a little time as the season slightly slows, to tour me around in his pickup truck to see his fields. Part of this project has been/will be local farm and garden tours. In eight days, I have visited and photographed Black Brook Growers, Silverleaf Raspberry Farm, Blue Heron Farm and Applefield. Their scope and abundance inspire me to come back to my dear 50’x50′ plot with new knowledge, ideas and (if it is possible) increased awe and humility.
The tour starts with a carrot to munch on, and then the produce wash and prep space: carrot tumbler, walk in cooler, industrial outdoor sinks, washing machine on spin cycle to dry the greens…Everything and everyone works in concert.
Next we visit the parked machinery where Ray beams like a proud parent, and so he should- these Suessian contraptions were invented for farmers by farmers, and they are utilitarian in the truest sense. They lay down lines of watering hose, lay and tuck plastic row covers under dirt, plant seeds in neat furrows, distribute weathered compost, rake in cover crops, dig rocks and potatoes, water in measured spigots and transplant hundreds of greenhouse plant plugs into properly spaced furrows. There is, on this agriculture protected 25 acre farm, a miraculous orchestration of machine and human, soil, water and light.
Beauty is here for the taking, to balance the jagged edges of life’s bewilderment and sadness. The rustling is a lullaby. I could lay beneath this canopy of breezy, late summer corn for hours, feeling tender and cared for by the graceful green-armed plants.