“My fears surface in my isolation. My serenity surfaces in my solitude.” – Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge an Unnatural History of Family and Place
There is quiet in the garden this time of year, a stillness that comes after birds move south for the winter and insects go dormant. For hours at a time, I find myself alone, moving around the silken tapestries of spider webs, working in a garden that is changing every day. I relish in this solitude, seeing it as a place to quiet my inner dialogue and breathe into my work. The serenity of solitude allows me to think through ideas while my hands run through the tasks at hand. When we come to solitude like this, on our own terms and with willingness, it can be deeply healing. This surrender to the quiet around me is a fine line to walk between the grace of solitude and the overburden of isolation.
These thoughts have been at the forefront of my mind during this time of year when our chosen family and community become more celebrated. While we all move inside more, gathering our loved ones around us, I am reminded of the need to balance solitude with companionship. Recognizing both is important for not only our own well-being but for the well-being of the land. When I work in solitude in my garden, the quiet nourishes my own relationship with the land. It is a time when I can focus on the details of nature that inspire me. When I work with my community, I find myself inspired by all that we can accomplish at the strength of a group. With others working the land alongside me, I feel that there is hope for the future and that we can be a catalyst for regeneration.
In light of this need for inspiring community work and as part of the Brooks anniversary celebration, our community is coming together to celebrate not only the past but the future of our land. Alongside club members, chosen family, and friends, we will be planting a native hedgerow along the property’s edge. Hedgerows are a grouping of plants that run adjacent to agricultural fields, serving as habitat for wildlife while creating more resilient farm ecosystems with diverse property edges. The hedgerow we will be planting is part of a grant from the Xerces Society, an invertebrate conservation group based in Portland. By coming together as a community to plant this hedgerow, we will all get the opportunity to nourish and enrich the land at Brooks.
Weaving together the story of our past while enriching the future has shown me the path forward in a world that feels like it is eroding around me. In this time when we are celebrating the harvest and our community, I can’t envision a better way than to get our hands dirty. Using this time to share wine, stories, and work, and in the process, find a little hope for our future. Nourishing our relationships with our community members and also our relationship with the land.
Farm to Table
This month, our tasting room menu features the following items from the Brooks Estate Garden: parsley, fennel, sage, squash, apples, and kale.