AgriCulture: A Solid Sense of Normal


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Hi everyone, Eric here.

It has been 151 days since I relocated to Turkana Farms and 126 days since my last (and only) bulletin “Your Guest is as Good as Mine”. Time certainly flies but, paradoxically, seems to pass over a lifetime in our pandemic sad realities. I am still a lucky man. Mark has been a lifesaver for having let me stay with him; his generosity provided me security and a somewhat normal life that would have been difficult to find in the city during spring and summer-times. But it is time to go back to my things and reclaim my urban space. I have a “bon-enfant” way of thinking: believing that one’s action, in a collectivity, has the power to restore communities’ stability and wellbeing. It takes certainly a village to do so, but a village of valiant souls ready to partake in what needs to be done.

Eric farewell pic
A home at the End of the World? Photo by Paul Raso

Roger Cohen, in his ode to the city “A bit of relief: I forgive you, New York” (NY Times, April 24, 2020), wrote it well: “Being a New Yorker, I was in a hurry. I was forgetful. You get that. Please forgive me. Please forgive us all. I’ll throw in the pigeons. Forgive you for every one of those awful birds. Just come back, just return, please. I know we can make a deal”.

The folks in Germantown have probably felt a soupçon of my presence over the past 5 months with my “shopping sprees” on Main Street or my talking to the dead at the Viewmont Cemetery when walking my dog Lillie. I have also biked around in my Canadian Roots red t-shirt and was fortunate enough to have been stopped once, because of it, by a lovely expatriated Canuck who was particularly touched, confinement introspection obliges, by her unexpected compatriot-encounter. It is obviously on Lasher Avenue that my footprints will be leaving most of my “enprints” with alongside visions of me mowing the farm’s front lawn or running after the sheep. The people of this town, I have not met many, but certainly sensed most of them through our proximity. Haven’t we had shared the same blue sky? The refreshing but rare raindrops? The strong winds? We are all one tough NY force. I will miss “us” with all the strange familiar anonymity it carries.

And yes, it is nerve wracking to leave behind the soothing, therapeutic and down-to-earthiness of farm life. I cherish this place and its offerings, as they have been instrumental to keeping my sanity that I took for granted before COVID-19. My love affair with the animals cannot be described in words but perhaps compared to the transfixed gaze of a child on a Edwin Landseer painting. I have learned humility from the Turkana flocks, broods, clucks and passels; that my impromptu presence had everything and nothing to do with their survival. I have not been of much help with the vegetable garden and will suffer from it in the months to come when faced with city concrete, steel and asphalt. In repentance, blackberries, currants and gooseberries were picked as if we were paid by the “casseau”; well…

Beside my moving back to the city for which I place great hope of regaining normalcy, I am also consoled (as Lillie) by the fact that I will be coming back to Turkana Farms for shorter visits. I wish them to be numerous, as the life here with Mark has also established a solid sense of normal.

WHAT’S AVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Large black Spanish Radishes, $2 each
Fennel, small bulbs, $1 each
Blackberries plentiful, $6/pint

Green shiso leaves $1, pack of 10
Kale, (curly leaf or lacinato) $2/bunch
Swiss Chard, $3/bag
Fresh dug horseradish root, $3/lb.
Sorrel, one gallon bag, $3/bag
Mint, $1/ bunch
Garlic chives (the flat kind), $1/bunch
Lambsquarters $2/bag

EGGS: $5/doz

Dill and lettuce back soon

MEATS: Have been largely cleaned out during the supermarket shortages of this spring. What is still in stock:

LAMB: a few remaining , leg of lamb $14/lb, lamb shoulder roast $7/lb.

PORK: fresh ham roasts (2 to 3 lbs), $12/lb

Chickens will be available again at the end of summer (September 15), additional lamb shortly

pineapple
FARM PICKUPS:

Email us your order at farm@turkanafarms.com, and let us know when you’d like to pick up your order. It will be put out for you on the side screened porch of the farmhouse (110 Lasher Ave., Germantown) in a bag. You can leave cash or a check in the now famous pineapple on the porch table. Because I’m now here full time, we’re abandoning regular pick-up times. Let us know when you want your order any day between 10 and 5, and unless there are unusual circumstances we’ll be able to ready it to your convenience. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call or text at 917-544-6464 or email.

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AgriCulture: A Solid Sense of Normal
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