verge (vʉrj)
the edge, brink, or margin (of something): also used figuratively the verge of the forest, on the verge of hysteria

to tend or incline (to or toward)
to be in the process of change or transition into something else; pass gradually (into) dawn verging into daylight

Monday, September 5, 2011

Why I Love Springdell Farm

A Basket of Summer

Springdell Farm is a treasure.  I drive by the stand almost everyday and if I don't stop, I always give a little nod. It's a small roadside stand--no grocery carts, no sliding glass doors, no freezing cold air conditioning, no strawberries in October or zucchini in March, and positively no indifference to the land, their animals, their customers, or to the quality of their offerings. Chickens greet customers, and Farmer Joe, the old Corgi, is always snoozing nearby. And they learn their customers by name...

I've been a regular for many years and like many others, I know that the very essence of New England's summer can be tasted right here. This is a basket of heart and soul--a legacy of the sun, the soil, the rains, and many pairs of hands and hooves, and many generations...all culminating in the soft juicy peach, and the sweet crisp corn. What I love most is the way the family of Springdell Farm cares for what they do.  You can see that in they way they label their baskets of fruits and vegetables, and in the way nothing goes to waste.  You can hear it in the way they greet customers, and in the tones of their voices. And you can taste their dedication in each bite--simple, fleshy, fresh, and clean.

After a weekend of schlepping the last girl to her new Amherst apartment (no more drive to Ithaca!), I was pooped. Though it was fun, in less than 24 hours I had made two round trips, and assembled a bed, a computer desk, a computer chair, a bureau, a night table, and a book case. Coming home to a transitory-inspired house and too lacking in energy to re-settle it, I headed for Springdell to collect some things for my dinner.

In my bleary stupor, my eyes had fixed on pink gladiolus.  So stunning.  A rooster was wandering around the car.  Jamie was sorting vegetables for the day and shouted a cheerful hello.  The counters had been stocked with freshly harvested fruits, vegetables and flowers.  There was a basket of their own wool and some pretty photographs. Meats, eggs, butter and cheese were in coolers.  Joe was asleep against a back wall.  Everything was in its place.  It was like standing in the middle of home--not my house-home, but the home of our world--our seasons and our rhythms, our summer, our New England.

To my surprise and delight, Jamie offered me this beautiful basket of fruits and vegetables.  Someone had neglected to take the order and the yield represented too much goodness to go to waste.  I was only too happy to oblige.  Her kindness brought tears to my eyes as I drove home.  She works so hard.  They all do.  I believe they move us forward by bringing us all back to the simple earth and the heart of it all.  This is what I love so much about Springdell Farm.

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