First Week on the Farm

“Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone.”

-Wendell Berry, A Place on Earth

      Hello Everybody!

                To all those who know me, might not know me, or are starting to know me, my name is Matthew Young, but you can call me “Matt” or “Mateo” as well. Since this past Tuesday, I have been grateful to have started as Communication Manager here at Stonewall Farm. While I may be new to the farm, I’ve been in Keene since August 2011, just graduating from graduate school at Antioch University two weekends ago. Since then, and especially during this first week of mine at the farm, I have been learning and re-learning just what it means to put lessons from school into meaningful practice professionally, let alone on as extensive in operations of a farm such as Stonewall.

                On my first day on Tuesday alone, I did no less than to help Josh Cline (our Executive Director) design a summer ad for the local Peterborough Players’ theater playbill for their summer season; to haul and deliver compost with Josh to the Monadnock Waldorf School in Keene; and to package and seal vanilla yogurt crafted on-site with Alan Bettler (our Visitor Services Director) and Sarah Antel (our Education Director). It’s proven somewhat mellower since then, but the drive and stamina of work here reminds me of no dull moments ahead and of the sheer opportunity to give back to land that gives us food, recreation, and much more.

                Over the coming weeks and seasons, I will do my best to capture the ecological events, the  cycles of farm life, the relationships between people and this place, and hopefully the relationships between food, people, and the land. Such ideas include “sustainability” and comparable terms, but ideas which also challenge us to become more aware of how much in common we do have.

                 When we realize how grass-fed diets for dairy cattle enhance the nutritional offerings in cheeses, milk, and yogurt we consume, we can then realize why we need to conserve and protect our soil and water resources to maintain grassy, healthy pastures. When we realize how purchasing farm-grown basil, strawberries, and tomatoes at Stonewall returns local money, which in turn builds healthier and stronger farms which create stronger local and regional economies, we can then realize why we need to target our purchasing with place and price in mind.

                  These lessons and others through frequent posts alongside photos, videos, and audio will hopefully grow an online community of people more capable, passionate, and ready to support an all too real and unique place such as Stonewall Farm. Furthermore, as events such as the June 29th Ice Cream Social, the July 14th Bike for Bovine Race & National Ice Cream Day, and the August 17th Barnyard BBQ come together, a vibrant community will continue taking shape. As farmer and writer Wendell Berry once wrote:

                  “Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone.”

                    My hope as part of the farm crew will be to help you and as  many people as are interested to discover for yourself the world of Stonewall Farm and its niche in Keene and Cheshire County, but also how the farm connects back to the rest of New Hampshire, the United States, and even the rest of the planet.

                    I hope you join us to see what awaits at Stonewall Farm, summer, fall, winter, and spring!

Image

Photo courtesy of Matthew Young

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