Monday, June 4, 2012

Inspiration

We made a quick trip over the wet weekend to visit my parents at Winterberry Farm--the place they've been living for more than 55 years. They were planning a several week driving trip to the midwest this month, but decided to postpone until next year. Because of the planned trip there was not to be a vegetable garden this year. After the change in plans, my Dad got to work planting--sweet corn, pickling cukes, winter squash, pumpkins, a few tomatoes, sunflowers, zinnias and cosmos, and a big patch of his favorite red clover.

When we arrived on Friday the corn was already several inches high and other plants had sprouted. The rows were carefully weeded. I brought a few more seedlings--extras from my garden--which found a home in an empty row. I planted nasturtiums and more zinnias in the flower garden at the back door. My mother likes to look out the kitchen window at the lush backyard. Together, both aged 90, they sit on the Leopold Bench and take in the view.

For many years now Brookfield Farm, a local organic farm, has leased some of the Winterberry Farm fields for crops and pasture. Each year a new crew of young aspiring farmers works at Brookfield and most meet up with my parents as they drive past the house to reach lower fields or to water the cows or when my parents pick up their share of fresh vegetables provided by Brookfield.

Two young farmers who met my parents years ago were Missy and Casey. Missy was growing beautiful cut flowers and selling bouquets. One summer she had a small farm stand at my parent's place, shown here.
Casey and Missy own and operate Old Friends Farm not far from Winterberry Farm in Amherst, Massachusetts. This weekend I learned why it is named Old Friends Farm. Their website is as beautiful as the flowers and other produce that they grow. Under Who's Who at Old Friends Farm it describes each of the farmers and their helpers and tells the story of how they got their name. It is a wonderful tribute to my parents. I've included it here, but check out the website of Old Friends Farm and catch them at a farmer's market if you are in the area. They too inspire.

Many people are curious about our farm name.  Here's the story...


The farm is named in honor of Mary and Dana Snyder, of South Amherst, for their admirable friendship for many, many decades- to each other, to the people around them, and to the land they live on. They let us use some of their land for the first year of the farm, and it started us off!

Mary and Dana are very inspiring to us on many levels... their friendship, their political involvement, their dedication to preserving agriculture in our community, and their remarkable youthfulness.  It became clear that 'Old Friends' would be a great name to remind and honor, and so our farm was named.

Mary and Dana are busy people, and you might see them just about anywhere- on top of the roof, on the farm, in the kitchen, at a contradance, in town protesting, at Ag. meetings, at a swing dance, at the opera, playing boggle, or traveling to visit their kids and grandkids.  If you do see them, do us a favor, (and yourself a favor too!), commend them for their lovely friendship and dedication to our community and the land.  Thank you for being YOU, Mary and Dana!

I'll second that -- thanks for being you Mom and Dad.

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