I Begin Again

A sturdy young woman strode across a red earth field. She reminded me of a resilient tree sapling. Her hair was severe and she wore a long dark dress. I watched the new country in ‘fast-forward’ from the train window. It was springtime. I could feel it in every bone. In every muscle there was delicious ease. Even the air I breathed was frenzied with life. Dizzying, like when you wake up after falling asleep in the sun. The neat houses and rows of peas flickered past. The strips of coppery soil streaked by. If I could pick two words to best embody this scene, they would be: orderly and vibrant. The words that I wished described the farm I grew up on. I wildly thought of prices per acre back home in Missouri. Then I tripled them. A sinking feeling crawled over me and seeped into my chest. Like an ink pen had busted inside of me or a lava flow had hardened on my heart; heavy and dark. I wept a bit, yeah. Because I knew I could never have a pig in a pen and a sturdy brick house in these rolling fields. My inheritance was a dead family farm, rusty silos and falling down barns. I cried for the outright beauty of this land in spring and I cried because for the first time I felt the need to be a part of a new place.

And that was the beginning of the chapter I’ll call Lancaster. It was love at first sight. I wiped away those useless tears and one year later I was plowing the earth, planting seeds, pulling weeds, and watching my plants give birth. Blue Rock Farm along the Susquehanna seems like some hot and humid dream I lived through. As if I were underwater. It’s not that it was unpleasant… It was one of the best summers of my life! It’s just that it didn’t seem real. Blue Rock Farm(originally Simple Gifts Farm) has since been sold in case you have not heard. A lot of Lancaster folks have many fond memories tied to that slice of land down by the river. It will be sorely missed in this community as a place that made a positive difference in many peoples lives. I would like to share a few things I will miss. I will miss fishing from the river shore, canoeing out to the islands in the middle of the night, playing in the hay loft with my friends who grew up on the farm, and picking peas at midnight under a star studded sky. I’m even gonna miss those sneaky trains that would scare the daylights out of me and wake me at three in the morning with their blasting horns! Blast them! I will miss falling asleep in the little cabin, tired as a dog, a stink bug crawling up my nose and a little black snake slithering beneath my bed. I’ll miss the Conservative Mennonites I shared the farm with; catching Christina tip toeing behind the barn with her river of hair down(white covering perched rakishly atop her head) and watching Frank sneak up to the house trying to conceal a bouquet of wild flowers for her. I will miss that dark, dark sandy soil…ooh it was good!

Now I begin again in a new place not too far from my old haunt. It’s called Heritage Creek Farm. I am excited for this upcoming season at Heritage Creek and ready to make some new memories! I will be the resident farmer there for the Farm Summer Camp which has the pleasure of hosting children from Susquehanna Waldorf School as well as many other schools in Lancaster County. In addition to that I will be managing two acres of organic vegetables and fruit for the Blue Rock Farm CSA and farmstand at Eastern Market. Stay posted dear friends and readers. The season is just getting started!

Check this place out! It’s beautiful!: http://www.heritagecreekfarmcamp.com/

Here’s to a bountiful season!
Yours Truly,
Caitlin Brady

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About cmbrady8

Caitlin Brady is excited for the opportunity to work as the farmer in residence at Heritage Creek Farm this coming season. Caitlin spent her childhood and teenage years on a diversified family farm in Northwestern Missouri. She has worked on a variety of farms, ranging from the bountiful fields of tobacco, grapes, corn and soy in Missouri, to the coffee cliffs of Guatemala, organic heirloom vegetables in Silver Spring, PA, and organic cranberry bogs of Cape Cod, MA. In 2010 she rode the train to Lancaster, PA and witnessed for the first time the rich agricultural heritage this county has to offer. It was love at first sight and in 2011 she settled in among the bountiful farm fields of Lancaster County where she started Blue Rock Farm, an organic vegetable farm and CSA. Blue Rock Farm is committed to being a good neighbor in our community and a careful steward of the land. We grow healthy, tasty vegetables without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Our gardens and greenhouse are Pennsylvania Certified Organic.

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