A day on a farm in the Hudson Valley feels like a homecoming.
Last week I visited paradise: a picture-perfect working farm in a small community where a band of people are doing their utmost to sustain farming. Glynwood*, as it’s known, confirmed my inkling that there was a place on the other side of the country where I would find my tribe. Only it was more beautiful–rolling pastures, crisp white buildings and neat stone walls–and the people more caring than I even imagined.
In a stone farm building on a sultry Monday night, nearly 30 people drove the two-mile gravel road off the two-lane highway near Cold Spring, New York for my cooking demonstration. I could not have conjured a more engaged, attentive and interested group.
I fed them simple recipes from my book, illustrated the differences between commodity and grassfed beef, which they then sampled for themselves. I cooked steaks and a hamburger in front of them and shared more tastes and words. When I asked for questions four hands at a time flew into the air; they were eager to understand everything–from the production to the cooking of this “other” meat.
The next day I roved the farm, snapping shots to remember it by. I could not capture with a camera the most significant part: the sense of community, less geographic than heart-centered, that I experienced there.
In the orchard I met this tree sparsely set with apples. (I had learned from another farmer in Massachusetts that a terrible spring freeze had all but killed this year’s apple harvest.) This young apple reminded me of how often we’re looking for the big harvest, the great leaps and bounds. But real success happens quietly and in small, unnoticed steps, the muddling middle places where it’s hard to sense your progress or know where you’re heading.
In the middle of the growing season, I was reminded to stop and take note of the smallest steps that signify progress. Won’t you try it, too?
Take a closer look–in your garden, your working life, your diet & exercise or financial goals and personal mission of any kind–to record what’s been accomplished to date. I’d love to hear about your path to fruition.
In exchange, here is a link to one of the recipes I cooked for my class at Glynwood, Joe’s Special. It is a simple skillet supper that I served to illustrate one of the many ways to use ground beef and to discuss the issue of reclaiming well-sourced ground beef as a safe and nutritious food.
*Glynwood is a non-profit organization devoted to small-scale farming where you can take a class, rent a cottage or host an event. I highly recommend a visit!