“But to be fearful of the disease and yet unwilling to pay for the cure, is not just to be hypocritical, it is to be doomed. If you talk a good line without being hanged by what you say, then you are not just hypocritical and doomed, you have become an agent of the disease.” – Wendell Berry, Think Little
Summer is a hard-won hope. With each day, I find myself in a constant state of disbelief at the beauty that surrounds me in the garden. Raspberries, blueberries, cherries, and currants are ripening, and I spend the quiet morning hours picking this bounty of summer, relishing the sight of fresh fruit alongside freshly cut lettuce, zucchini, and kohlrabi. The bloom of flowers greets me at every turn in the garden. I take it in hungrily, as if starving for each flower.
Despite all the joy in the garden this time of year, summer is no longer solely a time to enjoy the glory of our gardens. It has become, for me, a time of trepidation. In this age of climate change, the historic heat waves and wildfires have brought a sense of anxiety and sadness to the summer season. I remember the days of my childhood as the long-awaited summer vacation came, the happiness of that sun-filled freedom, of tall brown grasses and fresh produce, and the songs of crickets around evening campfires. I long for the innocence of those times when summer was a safety net. This time of year is still filled with those joys for me, but it lives alongside this other awareness, that of temperature extremes, losses of topsoil, and habitat degradation.
In this age of the Anthropocene, I find myself trying to navigate these extremes, this feeling of utter joy with the natural world at the beauty and hope I find in regenerative farming, all the while knowing that record losses of biodiversity continue. This is the age of the 6th mass extinction, a reality that I hold close to my heart, a fact that I don’t try to push away. I choose to remind myself of this fact as I move through the world, as I move through my garden.
So often, we are told not to carry the burden of climate change on our shoulders. I have never agreed with this, choosing instead to live with a deliberate understanding of the damage we have wrought. I want to remember it all. In this way, I am reminded to take less from this earth and give more. We don’t always have to feel better in our gardens. Sometimes, we need to choose to surrender to fear and sadness. They remind us to be compassionate.
The regenerative farming we practice at Brooks has filled me with more hope than I have had in recent years. I can feel the vibrant ecosystem that has been built around the gardens and vineyard, the birdlife, and insects that respond to each native that is planted. Nature is resilient. We are resilient. This doesn’t mean we should not feel the sadness and the fear of what is at stake. It reminds us of all the work that we need to continue to do.
-With Love from the Garden
Farm to Table
This month, our tasting room menu features the following items from the Brooks Estate Garden: fava beans, basil, cilantro, herbs, strawberries, green onions, eggs, herb dressing, cucumber, and mint.