Two weeks ago I visited Linda Hoffman’s Harvard MA based sanctuary of farmland, orchards and sculpture. We met eight years ago in a yoga class and I learned then that she is a talented mixed media sculptor. One day at her house, she gave me a treasured book, The Writing Life by Annie Dillard. Since I last saw her, she has gracefully survived cancer. Below, her visual depiction of the experience:
She has also tended her land, grown things, started Wild Apples, a literary-art journal, and churned out work; sculptures of wood, steel, clay, rope. She is a regular practitioner of yoga and meditation, given to self-reflection and inquiry; a curious, inspiring creative person attracting like minded folks to her serene space.
Linda moved into the farmhouse on this 25 acre property in 2001 and took years to nurse the apple trees into a full fledged organic orchard. Historically, the farm used to be an egg farm and then an orchard, always cared for and well-tended, but Linda and her partner, Blase Provitola, have transformed the space into a nourishing art-filled landscape replete with their annual sculpture walk. Blase built a Native American medicine wheel and a certified organic potato crop. Together they also tend an enormous kitchen garden, pumpkin and squash patch and pick-your-own raspberries.
On October 8th, the raspberries were just finished producing and the pumpkins nearly sold out. As the season drew to a close, we toured the last day of the wooded sculpture walk and traipsed about in cool afternoon light.
At this time last year, an anomalous fall snow/ice storm befell the orchard, and then a spring freeze damaged the apple blossoms in their valley, ceasing fruit production. I will really miss the farm’s speckled-skin, petite, organic local apples- something we can’t find anywhere else around here. I’m so proud of all that Linda and Blase have accomplished here and I look forward to next year’s crop. Grounds and garden images comprise part one of my tour; sculptures follow in part two.