Oversights at The Open Gate Farm
August 16, 2011
Oversights at The Open Gate Farm
Every day feels like a holiday here at The Open Gate Farm. But only Fridays are a “Challaday”. Those braided beauties of the bakery are blessing many a table with the kind of looks that draw families together. If you want to start a great conversation Friday night, take one home and ask everyone to guess how many lumps are on it!
This week saw the Slow Food Port Susan board meet out here in the shade of the big fir tree by the grapes. The bread pudding (secret ingredient = cinnamon rolls) was devoured and great decisions made. Stay tuned! Another general public potluck is in the wings!
And if you don’t have August 27th and 28th on your calendars, you should! The Slow Food and Roots Music Festival out at the fairgrounds will be a dandy. Two stages filled with music and laughter from 10 in the morning until late at night. Healthy, local food. We’ll be there with a booth for your lettuce buying pleasure, along with some other local farmers. Promises to be a fun time! You can find a link to them at our web site, www.theopengatefarm.com.
Until then, take a look at what’s ready here, starting tomorrow and lasting clear until Saturday night!
|Lettuce $2.50||Cinnamon Rolls $3.50|
|Green Leaf (Bergam’s)||Snickerdoodle Cookies $1.00|
|Red Leaf (Divina)||Breads: $6|
|Romaine (Bionda)||Wednesday – White Artisan|
|Butterleaf (Grandpa||Thursday – Oatmeal / Molasses|
|Admire’s)||Friday – Challah $8|
|Scarlet Runner Beans||Whole Wheat & Olive / Cheese Boats $2|
|Kale $2.50||Rock Rose|
|Red Russian||Butterfly Bush – purple|
|Basil Bunches $2.50||Herbs –|
|Garlic – braids and bulbs||Sage – purple and plain|
|Rhubarb $2.00 / lb.||Thyme – gorgeous|
|T-Shirts – with our logo!||A wide selection for steep slopes|
|Coffee – Black Swan!|
Woke up in the middle of the night the other night to a bright light shining in our bedroom window. This has happened before, but it’s been so long it took a minute to recognize the moonlight for what it was. It was then we realized how long and grey this year has been. To actually see the full moon! What a treat! Another little jolt to remember that the daily duties can blind us to what lies beyond the clouds of life.
Then this morning we realized your farmer had forgotten to close in the ducks and chickens last night. Panic was in our hearts while we rushed about counting the beaks we could find…all the chickens were there. But what about the ducks? “One, two, three, four…” Quackers and Cheese and Scooter were missing! So the duck hunt began.
We checked all the paths and roads for feathers and signs of mayhem. No clues. No one had heard a thing until Ben crowed about 4 this morning (to our new woofer’s surprise). No muffled screams, no flapping and thrashing. Nothing but quiet around here all night long. And now it was too quiet.
Peering under the office building, looking under the trailer, walking quietly around in the raspberries produced no quiet quacks. It was not until we parted the daisies, that big clump by the nursery, that we heard a muttering. “Nuts”, we heard a familiar voice say. “They found us.” And so given a little persuasion, two naughty ducks strolled out of the flowerbed and waddled across the lawn to the swimming pool. Quackers and Cheese were back with the flock. But what about Scooter?
That little terror of the fence lines who leads the innocent astray…where was she? Well, we never found out. But it was only a few minutes later that she showed up at the pool for a long drink of water. She looked pretty frightened. It had been a sleepless night, she said, and she was sooooo glad to be back with the flock. She promised never to leave them again. At least not until next time. Did you know there are things that walk around making twigs snap at night? Enough to scare any duck into going to bed early tonight!
That’s how it is around The Open Gate Farm. When anyone is missing, we drop everything until we find them and unity is restored. We are not called to live lives of separation and isolation. We are called to live lives together. We are called to keep our hearts tender, to not become callous towards one another, to forgive, to search for each other, to find and to celebrate that what was lost is home again. In a word, to live wholy and completely.
It calls to mind that great meditation by John Donne, “No Man Is An Island” which your farmer memorized in the summer days of youth.
“No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.”
It is what we put in our hearts when we are young that guide us all our lives, isn’t it? So in a very real way, what John Donne wrote in the 1500’s got written on the heart of a young man in Michigan in the 1960s and resulted in some ducks getting found in 2011.
What did you put on your heart way back when? What did you memorize that has carried you through dark and stormy and frightening times? We hope there is something, a few words perhaps carved into the tree trunk of your being when young that gives you a signpost now when you feel the way is lost. If not though, don’t despair. There is still time. And if you need a suggestion for something to memorize, just ask one of the wayward ducks. They would be glad to help.
Jon and Elaine Stevens, the duck hunters, Snickers the sniffing dog, Mystery the peering cat, Harley and his flock of wondering chickens, and the Parson Dudley Brown and his flock of drifting ducks, all of whom live joyfully at
The Open Gate Farm
269 Russell Road,
Camano Island, WA 98282-8512
Open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 9 to 5, now until the end of September