Edith, high on a small bit of fame north of Boston.
When I was farming twenty-one years ago, a woman in Marblehead, Massachusetts contacted me. A small group there wanted organic produce, and they were willing to drive north for an hour to West Newbury to get it. Of course I said yes. Sarah-Lincoln Harrison joined my small CSA and one of the group picked up several bags of the weekly share every Friday.
That small group grew into the Marblehead Eco-Farm CSA with twenty-two families the next year, and my small farm was unable to meet their needs. Another farmer nearby could, though. Now the CSA has grown into a very large Farm Direct Coop with three pickup sites north of Boston, a couple of dozen supplying farms, and over 750 member families.
Sarah and her husband have acquired a farm of their own in Maine, True North Farms, where they stay from April until well into the fall growing their own organic produce.
Last Sunday the coop invited me to their annual meeting potluck in Marblehead to talk about my history with them, and to let them in on how that led to my writing a Local Foods mystery series. What an honor! I brought a dish for the potluck, some books to sell, and my smile.
It was a busy meeting with children running around and lots of delicious dishes. The members were friendly and devoted to local foods. Their primary farmers, Rob Lynch and Meghan Arquin (and their two darling little children) were there, and Rob spoke about what a boon the coop’s business is for their certified-organic Riverland Farm in Sunderland, Massachusetts.
After I spoke, I sold several books and enjoyed talking with members as well as some of the hard-working staff. It was worth the drive.
Readers: Share your moment of fame. Has some small thing you did in the past come back to you as an honor?
I don’t think your farming was a small thing at all! You were part of the formation of something much larger and very important. While I’ve been shopping at our seasonal farmer’s market for several years now and always liked the idea of local produce, reading A Tine to Live, A Tine to Die made me even more aware of what I buy. Even at the supermarket now, I buy Florida grown whenever I can. I’m looking forward to ‘Til Dirt Do Us Part!
How sweet of you! It’s true, I was on the early end of a movement that has really taken hold now. Seven weeks until release date…
Edith, I think what you are doing now is passing along the gifts of your experience by giving in a very entertaining way. You write a great story and something perhaps more valuable. Through writing fiction you have a Quaker way of sharing what you have come to know through experience, and you do it by writing terrific mysteries.
That was an intriguing question you tossed out to us! I’ve been trying to think of something, because I feel like I’ve been honored, but it’s difficult to say how that is except that I’ve been fortunate. I would have to say that a moving honor I received was given to me by the North American Indian Center of Boston (NAICOB) us for providing free mental health counseling for a number of years. It was something I was moved to do and important to me to be available to the community and without financial need getting in the way. I guess that’s two honors—first to be asked then honored for having done it.
I like how things that we have done in the past build up in us to makes us well rounded. It’s also good to be able to draw on our experiences as our lives change and grow. And as a member of Farm Direct Coop, I’m sorry to say I missed last Sunday’s annual meeting. I have dreams of being able to farm organically when I retire.
If you need any gardening tips, Anne, farmer Cam is offering them on the SINC New England blog every Wednesday! http://sincne.wordpress.com/
How lovely, Reine. And thank you for your kind words!
Didn’t know you were involved so early in the co-op Edith; we’re members now. Tremendous local resource.
Wow, John, Had no idea!
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