My time at the Farm was good, but a little sad too. While preparing for my trip my old roommate, RugbyGirl, informed me that she'd taken a new job at a Farm some hours away in NY State and would be leaving the Farm in July. This news came after finding out that another friend, Farmer MacDonald, is also leaving the Farm in July. Then during my visit I learned that a couple other farmers are moving on this summer...it is always hard to see friends go, but to lose so many at once makes me feel like the landscape of familiarity is shifting. The people who work at the Farm make up so much of the fabric of the place, I can't imagine how it will be to visit it without them there! I was just glad I got to make it out for one last hoorah with all these good friends.
The Farm was definitely in it's pre-summer glory during my visit: everything was green, green, green; smells of hay marked our turn off the state highway, followed by the ever present manure smells from the cows (and how I miss that!), the smell of fresh cut grass increased as we neared houses; cows swatted at flies with their tails; batches of new piglets squealed and fought for milk; chickens clucked, the turkey gobbled insanely; the garden was taking off, tomatoes beginning to creep up their stakes; a calf was born to one of the cows I used to milk. There is a cyclical wonder to farms. I was so overwhelmed with how much it still feels like returning home; how I can still walk around the Farm and feel ownership and pride.
I spent much of my time at the Farm just hanging out with friends, sharing drinks and stories, even getting in one game of Settlers of Catan, walking, eating good food (both off** and on Farm), and even napping. It was time well spent, and my only regret was that I didn't have more of it. It was so hard to say goodbye to everyone and sad to watch as my train pulled away from a familiar surroundings as I sped back toward Cleveland. Why can't I have the Farm and a cool rural library and all my favorite people in one place? Hmm...
**Thought I would give a shout out to all the great places I ate at:
The Brickhouse, Housatonic, MA
I love this place! Lots of good memories here; the beer is great, the food is great, and I love that it's tucked away in lovely Housatonic, not far from Great Barrington. I got the Brickhouse Burger and the AAAAAMMMMMAZZZZING!! truffle fries. So damn good.
Gypsy Joynt, Great Barrington, MA
A family owned funky restaurant with the decor of hippies meet gypsies, with some dishes featuring local food and some local and not so local music to boot. The menu seems to expand and change all the time, but one thing I always get is the Garbage pizza which is great. Also tried the Greek salad, because, how can you say no to a Greek salad with bacon on top!? Delicious. On the way out bought a coffee--if you like Carmel Macciatttos (Starbucks) or Carmel High Rise (Caribou Coffee), you'll love their Carmel Milky Way. Yum.
Baba Louie's Sourdough Pizza Co., Great Barrington, MA (they now have locations in Pittsfield, MA and Hudson, NY)
I love Baba Louie's. Love, love, love that damn pizza! Yannick the German was nice enough to share his Dawn's Delight salad--hands down best salad they do is Phoebe's Greek in my opinion--with us while we waited, but I really only had eyes for my woodfired pepperoni, mushroom and roasted red pepper pizza. SOOOO good. Nom nom nom.
Taft Farm, Great Barrington, MA (stop here en route to The Brickhouse if you are going for lunch). Taft Farms was one of my favorite places to visit when I lived/worked at the Farm. I used to pop in most weekends and just grab a birch beer or a doughnut, or occasionally buy some local, DELICIOUS and AMAZING produce. Yannick the German and I popped in en route to the train station so I could put together a to go dinner (train food is yucky and expensive!) I bought (and they were nice enough to double wrap--for travel purposes) a club sandwich, a doughnut, and Yannick and I picked out mini cartons of heirloom tomatoes and raspberries and each took half. This made for the best dinner EVER!
This trip gave me lots of opportunities to enjoy all my favorite local restaurants as well as enjoy the Farm's own brick oven pizza and a good breakfast at the Farm's diner.