STONEGATE FARM

Field Notes

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The Lines in Winter
The Lines in Winter
Out in the snow, the footprints of deer and rabbit and cat are visible, as is the random scurry of a vole. The finches and sparrows perch like quarter notes in the limbs of crabapples, whose ice-bound fruit is pecked at. The hives hum faintly as bees cluster for warmth. They too have their winter routines.
Ramble On
Ramble On
As a photographer, my morning walkabout on the farm —half-awake, half-dressed, camera and coffee in hand—is a ritual so deeply infused into my day that I can’t imagine a morning without it. There will be newness always among the familiar...
Connection
Connection
A small farm is as much a proposition, a cultural idea, as an actual place. The idea of organic farming, of sustainable environmental stewardship, is a model for responsible living, for doing something necessary and grounded with your time.
The Essentials
The Essentials
Understanding the ESSENTIALS of skincare: Why using a singular line of products makes all the difference.
Oblivion
Oblivion
“He was glad that he liked the country undecorated, hard, and stripped of its finery. He had got down to the bare bones of it, and they were fine and strong and simple.”  – Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the...
Quitten Time
Quitten Time
It’s quitten time at Stonegate, not only because an early October frost took out the last of the leafy greens and brought a quick end to the season, but because the Quince (or Quitten in German) have ripened to a phosphorescent yellow in the orchard and begun to blette, turning their bitter starch to sugar and rendering themselves finally, and sweetly, edible.
Wabi-Sabi
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. There is something remarkable about a...
Tomato Palooza
Tomato Palooza
The slow fruition of all the heat-longing solonacea, who sulked through June’s cool nights, has finally begun to show promise, as clusters of Sun Gold, Lemon Drop, and Black Cherry tomatoes have emerged jewel-like on sprawling indeterminate vines, and peppers and eggplant are standing tall like fat hat pins above inter-planted lettuce.
Raw
Raw
The growing season has begun its slow and certain ebb from the farm, and in an almost absurd panic to inhale as much green as possible before a winter of chlorophyll privation, I find myself grazing in the beds like a ruminant. Not on all fours, mind you. More like a vegan biped with opposable thumbs..
iPick
iPick

My own apple genius bar was set pretty high when I presumed that cultivating an organic orchard at Stonegate was even remotely doable.

 

Nirvana
Nirvana
“Out of such chaos comes the dancing star” said my favorite dystopian curmudgeon Neitzche, who may have come from farming blood for all I know. His obsessions with hardship and trial as paths to enlightenment, just like Homeric and eastern...
Thank you, You're Beautiful
Thank you, You're Beautiful
“I must have flowers, always, and always” said Claude Monet, and, like him, Stonegate Farm is under the spell of a kind of wild, floral alchemy this season, with organic cut flowers having their magical way with us.
Incredible, Edible
Incredible, Edible
Flowers are the narcissists of the garden, shouting from far above their lanky stems, or twining on high to get our attention:  “Look at me, aren’t I beautiful!” And they are! We take in their self-loving beauty easily with the eyes. But why not experience that splendor in the mouth, feel a blossoms strange, pleated silk on the tongue. Birds do it, bees do it, why on earth shouldn’t we do it?
FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN
FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN
I’ve never been afraid of the unknown, in fact I actually look forward to experiencing new things. I’ve had too many formative years with a kind of known that wasn’t all that I wanted it to be, so for me...