Maria’s story
(from our March 2016 newsletter)

We used to include a list of things we wanted/needed at the farm but haven’t for a while because so often the things that would be on it are odd or we only want a little. Mostly this late winter I am wishing for people to share the work, to ponder hard questions, to enjoy the simple gifts of the farm, to help me see the parts I’ve overlooked. Maria Kurowski has been that kind of person for the past several years.

         

       It was years after her daughters Anita and Melinda began spending time with us that I got to know Maria. I’m not even sure how it began. I remember her coming to sing with us in the chapel during Christmas or on the hill around a fire. She took some of the plant divisions I was always trying to give away and brought me divisions from her gardens. She brought bags of maple leaves she’d raked up in the fall and Joanna fed them to the goats through the winter. When I was overwhelmed with milk and didn’t have time or energy to make another batch of cheese, Maria would take a gallon and make her own cheese. (Plenty of people would take cheese, but what a blessing to find someone who would make it.)  Maria came in the spring for wildflower walks and brought her telescope for star-gazing on summer nights. She picks up the newsletters every quarter and distributes them at Christ Our Light where she works in the office. In recent years, Maria has become our gleaner. When we’ve finished canning beans and don’t want to pick anymore but they are still bearing, Maria will pick and use them or share them. She’s taken vegetables to share at her church when sending them to the soup kitchen and giving them to visitors still leaves a surplus. She sews beautiful cloth bags to hold some of the toys we make for refugees. This winter we helped her plan how to make better use of her limited garden space and this spring she’ll take aged sawdust and rabbit manure to enrich her soil.

         We’re hoping others will find the farm and become friends as Maria has. In March Joanna will start planting seeds in the greenhouse. In April she’ll be starting work in the garden. Zachary will be tapping trees soon and making syrup in March and April, then getting in firewood. Lorraine will have perennials to divide and share and could use help in herb and flower gardens in April and May. Spring means woodland wildflowers, frog choruses, returning songbirds, and woodcock displays. Trails will need work and fences will need repairing. We wonder who will discover the farm this year and what we’ll learn together.