December in the Brooks Estate Garden


3 minutes reading

“I am not so easily seduced by speed as I once was. I find I have lost the desire to move that quickly in the world. To see how much I can get done in a day does not impress me anymore. I don’t think it’s about getting older. It feels more like honoring the gravity in my own body in relationship to place.” – Terry Tempest Williams, Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert

I’m standing immersed in a blanket of fog, sentinel to the garden. Winter is moving through the landscape with frost circling the veins of kale leaves and the seed heads of yarrow bowing under the weight of their frozen heads. I stare in disbelief that winter has arrived, finding myself stunned by a year that has already passed.

Time will always be an enigma, and to write about it here is only to labor over a subject that Proust spent volumes attempting to understand. Like Proust, winter’s hard edges bring me to reflect on the softness of my memories. The joys of spring, the euphoria of summer, the tenderness of fall, and the crispness of this winter. Each season has rapidly passed me by, leaving me grasping these final tendrils of the year, struggling to make sense of it all. 

In Western culture, time is money. In commodifying time we create a structure where time can be enforced and regulated. The tick of the clock is always in the back of our minds, and the pace of our days is tightly regulated by time. With this obsession we have with keeping time and managing it, time is all the more mystifying for how it slips by us, unnoticed until it is often too late.

We think of time as a linear arrow that moves in one direction. From point A to point B, time is always ticking away, something to be feared. As I settle into winter, I have reshaped that arrow in my mind, I visualize it curving, forming a circle, a loop that repeats itself. In nature, time operates as a cycle, a path of renewal that isn’t feared but simply is. During this time of winter, I take strength in knowing that in this time of decomposition, the earth is nurtured. From this time of decay, new life will emerge, and in spring, it will all start again. This doesn’t mean it will be the same. Change is the one thing that we know to be true. I will be older next spring, and my body inevitably moving towards decay, but the changes can be celebrated and taken in stride.

Looking back, I think of all the hours I have spent in the garden, I can picture how the garden has changed, how I have changed. I look out at the new habitats and healthier soil systems, and I find myself struck by the capacity we have for healing this earth. I’m realizing that maybe, with time, I will have the capacity to heal myself. This won’t happen overnight, but I take solace in the knowledge that I am not alone. As I work to heal the land, the land heals me.

With Love From the Garden,


Farm to Table

This month, our tasting room menu features the following items from the Brooks Estate Garden: radicchio, herbs, beets, and leeks.