Hello, it’s Victoria.
I’ve stepped back from writing newsletters for a while, mostly because my time and energy have been intensely focused in new places. After this time away, I’ve had some interesting developments and updates I want to share with you all. And after the first rush of New Year’s resolutions, of which I made zero, now seemed like the perfect time to share the personal changes that I’ve blundered into anyway.
We’ve started a new class for one- and two-year olds at Little Darlings Farm School, led by my co-teacher Alanna and me, so I’m now there four or five days a week, and have quite a few more hours to dedicate to my smallest friends. I’ve also started working as a teacher at Kite’s Nest center in Hudson, designing an after-school class for this Spring on Wilderness Skills. In April, I’m taking on an even more ambitious project, as I’ve accepted a full-time job with Ironwood Farm in Ghent. I’m thrilled about this opportunity to work with Ironwood, growing mounds of vegetables, learning from co-owners Lauren and Aliyah, and embracing the long-dormant desire of my heart: tractor cultivation.
In a strange and vaguely magical synchronicity, I only applied for the job at Ironwood after talking to some farmers I met at a community yoga class in Hudson. After arriving at a party for my friend Lucia’s house last week, I discovered that Lucia–whom I also know through community yoga–is going to be the other crew member at Ironwood this year. As we danced in her kitchen in our excitement, she turned to her housemates and said, “See? I told you everything was going to work out perfectly this year!”
While I don’t have quite her level of unshakable optimism, I am deeply excited about the upcoming season, and am enjoying the feeling of being on the right track, making connections in my community in the Hudson Valley, and finding a way to weave my disparate interests and passions into something coherent, and shareable with others. After the tracking class I took with Troy, which he described in a recent bulletin, I’ve been immersed in thinking about tracking as a vector for environmental education and as a way of moving through the world, and managed to work the lessons I learned from Raei and The Rusty Anvil into the curriculum for both Little Darlings and Kite’s Nest.
Of course, dramatic systems change always brings a shock, as with the return to colder temperatures after our weirdly warm weekend. With the panoply of jobs I’ve collected for this year, I won’t be able to grow a garden here at Turkana. I’ll also have to leave the preschool when my full-time work starts at Ironwood, and it’s already painful to think about waving goodbye to all those small hands. Just this week, we focused intensely–or as intensely as two-year-olds can focus–on tracking skills, reading books and field guides, finding paths in the snow, playing animal footprint matching games, and printing our own tracks.
Yesterday, for the first time in a year, I pulled out my old linoleum block printing supplies and cut some new stamps for our class project. I kept these skills, acquired from a workshop in Raleigh years ago, and they were there when I needed them. The class will keep the stamps, and can use them again and again, whenever they want. Walking over the pasture hills with Lilli last weekend, we could see the architecture of the terrain, naked under the snow. In the pause of winter, when the flush of annual growth has dropped, we’re able to see lines converging that weren’t evident before. Looking at the path I’ve laid out for the upcoming year, I can’t help but think about my lady Mary Oliver, telling me what I need now and always: “…spring is advancing, as it does, no matter what, not being singular or particular, but one of the forever gifts, and certainly visible.”
WHAT’S AVAILABLE THIS WEEK
Tiny hot matchbox peppers, $5.00 a string, dried and quite decorative.
Acorn squash, $2/each
Cheese Pumpkins, $2/lb, 5 to 8ish pounds
EGGS: $5/doz – new orders suspended this week
MEATS: We keep some on hand, but it helps to order ahead in case we need to retrieve from our stash in the big commercial freezer. See below.
GEESE: One remaining, about 8.5 lbs. $10/lb.
ROASTING CHICKENS – Nice fat Freedom Rangers, frozen, largish (4 to 7 lbs, a few smaller), $6/lb.
LAMB: Whole or Half $7/b (hanging weight), Riblets $8/lb, small and larger leg roasts $14/lb,
PORK: Loin pork chops, $12/lb (2 to a pack, btwn 1 and 1.5 lbs),
Spare ribs and country ribs $7/lb
baby back ribs $8/lb
fresh ham roasts (2 to 3 lbs), $12/lb
smoked bacon, $12/lb
Email us your order at firstname.lastname@example.org, 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. Regular pickup times are Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., other days by arrangement. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call at 518-537-3815 or email.