We are noticing signs of Spring everywhere- in the urgency of early morning birdsongs and the clear, clean light across the snowy pastures.
And as Nature has taught us, with fresh beginnings, come natural endings.
So, this first blog post of 2014 is devoted to our dear apprentice, Alexor Moore whose time at Taproot Farm is coming to an end.
We knew it would happen one day... Alexor is ready to move on to new pastures.
An apprentice comes to you for a year or two, seeking what they are ready to learn. In that time together, they bring you their own gifts- of passion, physical help and friendship. And then, one day, exactly as it should be, they are ready, with confidence and a life purpose, to "fly the coop".
And we did it together with mindfulness. With kindness. With humor.
We sure will miss his face each morning during the farm chores, but we know we'll be friends for life. No doubt we'll be helping each other build fences and process chickens for a long time... perhaps on his own farmstead one day.
Thank you and happy trails, Alexor!
A farewell letter from Alexor:
My connection with Taproot farm began when I drove down the driveway one 2011 summer day in an old, orange pick-up for a natural building workshop. I felt something click that day, a familiarity I could identify with down deep. The level of connection I felt was Freedom. I filled up with fresh hope as I shared healthy, self-sustaining practices outdoors with other like-minded people- listening & learning & interacting & growing.
Some cultures teach the importance of grounding oneself by checking-in with the body and breath, though it is not something I ever consciously learned- until I took Beth’s mindfulness meditation class in March 2012. That’s when I started walking in the world with more curiosity and breathing with more awareness. Without realizing it, a fresh awakening, a new perspective, was leading me into the next developmental phase of my life.
A year and a half later I agreed to work as full-time apprentice on Taproot Farm & it was the best opportunity I’d ever had. It was exactly what I needed to become as thrilled to be alive as I am today. I felt eager, excited, and a strong deep knowing that I was called to this work. I dove head first, fully committed, and was so ready to do anything and everything the farm needed to become a sustainable operation!
The first five months came and went, with very little snow, so I had the opportunity to learn first-hand how much work can be done in the winter on a developing farm. We had enough quiet time to share aspirations, plans & dreams in anticipation of the last frost. March & April brought early nourishment from the swine-turned soil in the new high tunnel, where I invited old & new friends to help me sow mizuna, mustard greens & fresh lettuce, snap peas & kale, daikons & beets, strawberries, cabbage & onions. Seeing what could come out of the ground from such a small amount of input, I was in awe. By July the abundance overflowed from our baskets- there was more food than we could eat & plenty of surplus, from such a small growing area!
I was finding joy and appreciation in new experiences. My interest in sustainable agriculture grew and grew as I developed a reverence for the earth’s ability to hold & heal.
And with curiosity and attention to the senses, I woke up to the miracle of the body and all that lives inside my heart. Here with my hands in the dirt, I become aware of what is true for me. I longed for love, and with the changing of spring to summer, my heart opened up, just as life said yes. And…. I fell deeply in love with Emma who had also found her way to Taproot Farm. We drank in the harvest of the farm together as we shared summer days with hands & feet in the dirt. We bonded over a shared life direction, wanting to support each other in a true way, eager to weave our dreams into reality.
Thanks to this open-hearted experience with life & love, I noticed a deep longing to follow my passion- for growing things, building things and loving freely- toward an independent life of my own. I found my voice to speak this truth to Beth and Tim and I was heard. We agreed that a full-time position no longer gave me the space I needed. I was listened to with such compassion. I could ask for nothing more precious than what I’ve been given here: encouragement to follow my heart.
Now, looking back at one year, 3 months and 17 days as a Taproot Farm apprentice- I feel nothing but space, gratitude & love, for all I have been gifted in this chapter of my life. It has helped identify me as who I am today:
... a seed of Taproot Farm, a graduate apprentice, & an Earth enthusiast!