Have you met Severine von Tscharner Fleming? You should. And you probably will.
She won me over when she pointed to a roaring woodstove obscured beneath a huddle of pots bubbling with food. “We don’t have a stove,” she said, obviously referring to the sort of stove most people at the front edge of the 21st century use for cooking meals.
Or perhaps she won me over during a 15 minute conversation that ping ponged from from Essex to the Hudson River Valley to Mendocino, farming to ham radio, blogging to indie publishing.
Actually, I think it was when I headed out the door and she called me back, handed me a miniature orange and a miniature lemon that she had received from a friend. A gift regifted. Not only were the citrus too picture perfect to munch without a quick picture, but the idea of a gift regifted perfectly captured Severine’s energy and spirit.
Keep it moving. Pay it forward. Accept abundance. Share abundance. And laugh all along the way.
Severine had also handed me a copy of Greenhorns: 50 Dispatches from the New Farmers’ Movement, a book she coedited with Zoe Ida Bradbury and Paula Manalo. “I’ll give it away on the Essex blog,” I said, caught off guard with her generosity. “Read it,” she fired back, grinning ear to ear. “Right,” I thought to myself as I walked back to the car. I’ll read Greenhorns and then regift it to an Essex blog reader. Gift regift. Keep it moving. Pay it forward. Accept abundance. Share abundance…
Stay tuned for your chance to receive my copy of Greenhorns.
I arrived at home and flipped through Greenhorns, a collection of personal essays from the front lines of the back-to-farming movement sweeping the country. Handsome book. Great essays. But the real clincher? It’s a flip book. Allow the pages to flip through your thumb and fingers while watching the bottom corner of the page and enjoy a seed-to-seedling animation. A small bean seed sprouts, germinates and becomes a young bean plant. The animation reminds me of Severine’s laughter. And her knack for telling several stories at once. Or one story several ways.
I’ll hand off the book review honors to the pros. Here’s Whitney Scott (Booklist) on Greenhorns.
Essays on the spirituality and physicality of farming; the skill-building and life lessons accompanying the increased connection to the earth; and improved self-sufficiency define the Greenhorn movement. Fleming, founder and director of this group promoting young farmers, joins other Greenhorns and biodynamic farm enthusiasts in gathering writings on farming as an expression of patriotism and hope, addressing local food surety and self-reliance advocates, and farmers new and established, all connected in a reconstitution of a local, resilient, and delicious food system. Financing, tools, and community are major categories. Draft-powered farmer Alyssa Jumars writes that she’s never felt so alive as behind the great ass of a draft horse, and Jon Piana praises community effort turning a weeks-long harvest into an hour’s labor. Charming line drawings reinforce the anthology’s texts, supplemented by a far-ranging list of resources. Readers will also be interested in the documentary film The Greenhorns. ~ Whitney Scott (Booklist)
Review Jan Gardner (The Boston Globe) gets down to it more quickly, concisely and precisely.
bursting with determination and optimism. These essays by beginning farmers are chatty, colorful reports that made me laugh and left me in awe of all the hard work that goes into growing our food. The farmers revel in simple pleasures and big challenges. ~ Jan Gardner (The Boston Globe)
And Urban Farm adds candor to the equation.
The stories are real, and the voices are honest … sometimes brutally so. Yet, despite this, or maybe because of this, I found myself inspired.” (Urban Farm)
Are you hooked? Let me know if you’d like me copy when I finish. And if I receive multiple requests, we can come up with a creative way to pick a winner.
By then Severine von Tscharner Fleming’s new project, The 2013 New Farmer’s Almanac will be available soon. And you can fill in the gaps with The Greenhorns website, an online community 5,000+ young farmers and farming activists “committed to producing and advocating for food grown with vision and respect for the earth.”
And if you have a spare cook stove, you might offer it to Severine since there’s plenty of room in the kitchen. And cooking on the wood stove might make for a pretty toasty home at meals times this summer!