Next Generation Farm Dreams

At lunch yesterday I heard music coming from the gardens and went out to find Laura giving an impromptu concert on her mandolin. Laura was playing right where she and Alli spend all their lunches, on the lawn overlooking their creation, the Hummingbird Garden. Just a few days earlier they had been having their lunch on this spot when a deer poked its head out of one of their Scarlet Runner Bean teepees. He gave them a nod before trotting off down through the hayfield. Laura and Alli guessed he had been taking a nap in the garden before awaking to their lunchtime festivities.

Alli, Laura and their peers are a generation that give me much hope and joy. The Babies of Light of twenty years ago are all grown up and ready to take the mantle of what was begun and run with it. Here at the farm, this young group took to garden design with Angels and Elementals like they were born for it, bringing us a garden that sings with beauty and vibrant energy. I can’t wait to give them more gardens to design next year. Along with Lizzy and Lauren Lenz, Alli and Laura are also planning all kinds of projects including a collective farm complete with a yurt village. They are thirsty for the kind of spiritual conversations, books and gatherings so popular twenty or thirty years ago, homesick for an era in which Angel workshops were a dime a dozen. They absorb everything they hear then dig in to the work of manifestating a new dream.

And I am confident there is no need for them to be homesick for old times. They come into their time with just the talents most needed for community building right now. I am amazed and happy to see how they manage to keep the thread of community so vibrant in a technological age. In fact, they seem quite at ease in using the technology to serve community, somehow using its best connective gifts and dumping the rest. It is not exactly Laura Ingalls Wilder with a cellphone because they are not luddites. Instead, they are intent on the work of the era to move towards unity consciousness with whatever tools available- hoe, cellphone, mandolin.

At the opening to Elizabeth and Ben’s Camino show last week, many former Green Hope staff came to see the show and catch up with all of us. It felt like old home week to visit with all these beloveds again. It was particularly fun to introduce one generation of staffers to another as they have all heard about each other over the years.

I loved introducing everyone to original staffer Catherine Barritt. She worked here in the 1990’s when we invoiced orders, bottled, labeled and shipped our Flower Essences all from one tiny room. I met Catherine during the infamous summer of 1993 when the farm was open to visitors. Catherine came on board when the bustle of that summer blossomed into a mail order business. During the years she worked here she made over an hour and a half commute to be at the farm. Her love for the Flowers was immense and her knowledge of the expanding world of alternative healing gave the rest of us a frame of reference. Her wonderful laugh filled the office for many years, and we missed it and her when she left.

My visit with Catherine was precious for so many reasons. At one point she remarked how so much of the community of that earlier time seemed to have evaporated. I knew what she meant. The sort of zesty alternative gatherings that were the meat and potatoes of that time have been in short supply. But I was so very happy to be able to tell her that I thought all this and more was being reborn right now in the generation of twenty somethings. And better yet, some of the gatherings were begin to happen right here at the farm.

This generation of young people are game for the unusual, open minded and committed to making a difference in a similar but more evolved way. I can’t wait to see it all unfold and feel so lucky to be able to be a support for all the young beloveds here who are planning their farm dreams one text message, shovelful of dirt and note of the mandolin at a time.

Here’s Laura and her mandolin at Rock Riley, a farm celebration earlier this summer.