September 16, 2011

Roofed the hell out of the farm stand today. Something about being 20 feet up in the air on your own structure, like you were on a rock outcropping, but lifted by your own will – where there’s a will, there’s a way, so they say. Yeah, it’s scary – like Zadoc says, roofing takes just the right mix of awareness and intelligence to be careful, but enough craziness to be willing to do it in the first place – but it’s also exhilirating. And there’s no feeling quite like looking at what you’ve done and saying, “Wow.” Beauty pouring out of your own heart, your own mind, through your hands, and spilling forth into the universe, into your life, building something that can hold you, shelter you, lift you, a sensation that defies description – feeling it is all there is. And putting the roof on your structure is really a big step towards that transformation from a frame to a shelter; from an object to a home; from an idea to a reality.

A lot of our projects at CCF follow the same trajectory as this Farm Stand project: we start by identifying something we want to do, often something that none of us have ever done before. Then, we decide that we’ll figure out how to do it. Then, we do it. Finally, we look back on the journey, often a long and intense and sweaty one, and take a deep breath, and celebrate, knowing that we are, for better or for worse, one experience richer. We started the roofing project without knowing a thing about corrugated metal roofing; we ended with one beautiful farmstand, a lot shadier than before.


CCF Canning Workshop

September 16, 2011


Canning Workshop


Amidst a hum of cafe traffic and indie-pop muzak at the local Great Barrington Co-op supermarket, Mael and Freed Man introduced a group of bright and enthusiastic students (young and old) to the world of Home Canning. After a brief introduction to the theortical treatises of Canning, including a discussion of how canning helps us to eat delcious, home-grown, natural food all year, and safe canning practices that keep hazardous molds, fungus, and bacteria from spoiling or poisioning our food, the students broke out the plastic lettuce knives and chopped up peaches for a batch of home-made jam, and cored tomatoes for a big pot of home-made tomato sauce (recipes available!). Together as one, the entire class (teachers included) practiced their home-canning skills, filling their jars with the sweet, all-natural goodness of hand-crafted peach jam, learning the intricacies and subtleties of the process the best way there is to learn: by doing! By the end of the workshop, the teachers and students had transcended the giver/receiver relationship and were engaging in a mutually-enriching exchange of experience and information. A true joy for everyone involved; Certainly not the last time the CCFarmers will participate in workshops at the Co-Op!


Nonviolent Action

September 16, 2011

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote that the philosophy and practice of nonviolence has six basic elements.

First, nonviolence is resistance to evil and oppression. It is a human way to fight.

Second, it does not seek to defeat or humiliate the opponent, but to win his/ her friendship and understanding.

Third, the nonviolent method is an attack on the forces of evil rather than against persons doing the evil. It seeks to defeat the evil and not the persons doing the evil and injustice.

Fourth, it is the willingness to accept suffering without retaliation.

Fifth, a nonviolent resister avoids both external physical and internal spiritual violence- not only refuses to shoot, but also to hate, an opponent. The ethic of real love is at the center of nonviolence.

Sixth, the believer in nonviolence has a deep faith in the future and the forces in the universe are seen to be on the side of justice.