What Do Farmers & Artists Have in Common?


What do a farmer and an artist have in common?

Despite the appearance of an idyllic life, we both put in long and strange hours. Yesterday at 4:30 a.m., I left for The Clark Art Institute in Massachusetts to catch their show Turner and Constable: The Inhabited Landscape. (More on that in another post.) This morning, our neighbor, Jamie, started out at the same hour to spread chicken manure on our hay field.

Jamie grows organic grain for an organic chicken farm from which he collects the manure for spreading on the fields to keep them productive. The spreading had to be finished before the field started to thaw in morning sun and we were expecting the first of a number of warm days. Once the field starts to thaw, the hillsides become too slippery for the tractor.

The hay from the field goes to mushroom growers who compost it into growing medium for mushrooms. We use spent mushroom soil to mulch our gardens, both flower and vegetable.

Such are the products of our neighborhood and the cycle of their production. Lucky are we who do what we enjoy, despite the sometimes strange hours.