Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Thoreau 2

From Walden, "The Bean Fields"
"This further experience I also gained.  I said to myself, I will not plant beans and corn with so much industry another summer, but such seeds, if the seed is not lost, as sincerity, truth, simplicity, faith, innocence, and the like, and see if they will not grow in this soil, even with less toil and manurance, and sustain me, for surely it has not been exhausted for these crops.  Alas! I said this to myself; but now another summer is gone, and another, and another, and I am obliged to say to you, Reader, that the seeds which I planted, if indeed they were the seeds of those virtues, were wormeaten or had lost their vitality, and so did not come up."

"Ancient poetry and mythology suggest, at least, that husbandry was once a sacred art; but it is pursued with irreverent haste and heedlessness by us, our object being to have large farms and large crops merely.  We have no festival, nor procession, nor ceremony, not excepting our Cattle-shows and so called Thanksgivings, by which the farmer expresses a sense of the sacredness of his calling, or is reminded of its sacred origin.   It is the premium and the feast which tempt him.  He sacrifices not to Ceres and the Terrestrial Jove, but to the infernal Plutus rather.  By avarice and selfishness, and a groveling habit, from which none of us is free, of regarding the soil as property, or the means of acquiring property chiefly, the landscape is deformed, husbandry is degraded with us, and the farmer leads the meanest of lives.  He knows Nature but as a robber.  Cato says that the profits of agriculture are particularly pious or just (maximeque pius questus), and according to Varro the old Romans “called the same earth Mother and Ceres, and thought that they who cultivated it led a pious and useful life, and that they alone were left of the race of King Saturn.”
 “We are wont to forget that the sun looks on our cultivated fields and on the praries and forests without distinction.  They all reflect and absorb his rays alike, and the former make but a small part of the glorious picture which he beholds in his daily course.  In his view the earth is all equally cultivated like a garden.  Therefore we should receive the benefit of his light and heat with a corresponding trust and magnanimity.  What though I value the seed of these beans, and harvest that in the fall of the year?   This broad field which I have looked at so long looks not to me as the principal cultivator, but away from me to influences more genial to it, which water and make it green.  These beans have results which are not harvested by me.  Do they not grow for woodchucks partly?  The ear of wheat, (in Latin spica, obsoletely speca, from spe, hope,) should not be the only hope of the husbandman; its kernel or grain (granum, from gerendo, bearing) is not all that it bears.   How then can our harvest fail?  Shall I not rejoice also at the abundance of the weeds whose seeds are the granary of the birds?  It matters little comparatively whether the fields fill the farmer’s barns.  The true husbandman will cease from anxiety, as the squirrels manifest no concern whether the woods will bear chestnuts this year or not, and finish his labor with every day, relinquishing all claim to the produce of his fields, and sacrificing in his mind not only his first but his last fruits also.”

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Final Valentine

I felt sure
that together you
and I might be an example
of something beautiful
and on a spring
day that was really only
mid-February we celebrated ourselves
too soon.  I
walked into a barn
and let the baby goats suck
my fingers until they bled.  It's instinct
to cry when the skin breaks.  You started
with the other agricultural
tourists who had also assented
to the liability clause.
If the chickens
knew anything, they didn't say.  A cow
followed the children
like a dog.  Later
they ate him.

- Magdalena Zurawski

Published in the Oxford American, No. 77

Monday, July 2, 2012

Green Door Gourmet

Ecotone Farm is proud to partner with Green Door Gourmet, a Tennessee Farm to Fork cooperative of local farmers and artisan producers.  Green Door Gourmet is a unique farm to fork venture that produces local artisan foods and plants in a farm-cooperative community setting.  The aim of the cooperative is to provide a one-stop shop for a whole foods, whole-diet shopping experience. Besides visiting our farm directly, Green Door Gourmet is now the primary place at which you can find and purchase food from Ecotone Farm. 
Sylvia Harrelson Ganier, the farm operator, brings years of farm and restaurant experience as well as a passion for food and education. Her background of growing up on a dairy farm in North Carolina melds with her many years in the restaurant business, including being chef and owner of her former Nashville based establishment, CIBO. Personal attention to both product and patron is the main focus of the high quality experience from Green Door Gourmet.
Green Door Gourmet is located within Hidden Valley Farm on River Road in Nashville, TN, less than 2 miles west of Interstate 40, and less than 10 minutes from downtown Nashville. Our close proximity to places such as Nashville West, Walmart, and Lowes provides ease of access for customers who crave experiencing the best of local fare but still in the city limits.

Hidden Valley Farm also serves as the perfect spot for agri-tourism and special farm events. They have produced events from small picnics to receptions up to a BBQ for 1000!
Green Door Gourmet grows up to 80 varieties of herbs and flowers, and a wide assortment of fresh produce produced using natural methods which follow an organic holistic model. They harvest as close to customer-scheduled pick up as possible in order to maintain the integrity of our product. They do not sell anything that does not pass our own "taste tests."

With a terrific crew helping out on the farm this year, the feeling of community will be one of the first things a customer will note when making a visit.