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What's Growing On

First Light




Morning harvests of zinnias, gomphrena, celosia and snap dragons in the flower farm.  Nice work if you can get it.

In the Orchard



Rough-skinned Asian pears and Starkling plums have fruited well this season thanks to orchard netting.

Chickens chillin' under the shade of apple trees in the orchard. If you live at Stonegate, life is good.


BLOG ARCHIVE

To read past blogs from Stonegate Farm, go to the Farm News/Blog link on the website, or use these links

2009 Season
2010 Season

2011 Season
2012 Season
2013 Season

 

IN STORES


Author Sarah Rich and I travelled cross country to make this book last year, published by Abrams and available everywhere.  Get it at Amazon, and I'll sign a copy at the Farm.



My new book on garden photography is also out and available, at Amazon and elsewhere.  



Follow the Farm:  Link up with Organic Gardening Magazine to get the best and latest hands on inspiration for working in the dirt.   You can also follow the goings on at Stonegate Farm 
by following the Accidental Farmer blog
.

August 20, 2013

Wabi-sabi

Judging by our lobed and fissured tomatoes and mottled fruit, we grow beautifully imperfect food at Stonegate Farm.

Imperfect in the idealized, Apollonian sense, that is, but oh-so-perfect in the fabulous flavor, nutrient density department.
 

Heirloom tomatoes: Cracked, fissured, bruised and swollen to perfection.

Organic is really a euphemism for misshapen beauty, or the Eastern aesthetic philosophy of wabi-sabi, where imperfections, transience, and asymmetry have more value, and are “more perfect” than perfection.

In Japan, for example, where the modern CSA movement, called TeiKei, began, wabi-sabi is central to their aesthetic philosophy. The more crazed and cracked the teapot, the wonkier the pear, the greater its integrity, beauty and value.
 

Sweet, multi-colored cherry tomatoes.

There is something beautiful in transience, in the faltering impermanence of living things, be it an overripe Shiro plum or even us.

Our closest approximation is Virgil’s Lacrimae rerum, or “tears of things,” but try and use that (or worse, quote Virgil) when selling anything in the new and improved West. So much of Eastern philosophy is simply lost in a land where the newer, shinier and more Botoxed the better.

Organic beauty has always been more than skin deep; in fact, its skin is often deeply flawed. With no toxic, petroleum armor to protect it, organic produce must fend for itself, relying on the skilled coddling of its growers. 


Our first tomato harvest of the season. Set back by by oppressive heat and rain, they've finally come through.

Much of what we grow wouldn’t pass visual muster at the local Price Chopper, where isles of pesticide-infused sameness prevail. But our wabi-sabi veggies, greens and orchard-grown fruit–even the weathered siding of our century-old barn–have a deep and resonant beauty that you can’t get from mass production.

It’s no wonder the Japanese, with their non-western paradigms, created a partnering system between consumers and organic farmers, where they not only cooperated with each other, but also with the lovely imperfection of the natural world.

They say that when you learn a new language, you acquire a new soul, and the language of organics is about working symbiotically with nature's quirks and variations, not against them.

Maybe growing local and organic creates not only better food, but better philosophy.  –Mb
 
Prayers of peppers
Broken tomatoes
Grown in perfect summer
(flawed vegetable haiku)
 

 
Oeuffington Post


















 Our dandy pullets are beginning their laying frenzy, with more to come.  We may be doings a winter egg and greens share this year, so stay tuned.

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Contact Us: If you have any information you'd like to share, or comments, feel free to drop us a line: Stonegate Farm


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Stonegate Drive
Balmville, NY 12550

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