Sunday, July 27, 2008

Farm Factor

Hereford Cathedral

Hereford Cathedral

Canon Frome was very interesting – still processing some of what was going on there. It basically created an atmosphere that connected all of the residents to farming. The effect was very exciting. Fresh, un-pasteurized milk, Goat yogurt and cheese, fresh eggs, veggies, berries, fruits, all from the fields and by the hands of the community. Inspiring. The community wasn’t fully off-grid, or completely sustainable, but they were quite far along in being able to manage without infrastructure.

This is sort of a theme that’s been on my mind – with climate and other environmental crises increasing, and the issues involved in peak oil, etc. There may be more and more of a need to revive self-sufficiency. Our modern world being about specialization, and segmentation, very few people know how to manage beyond their particular area of focus. If the energy sources become less available, few people would know how to make use of local resources to keep themselves fed and warm, etc. Not to mention not having access to resources in large cities and so forth.

In any case, I think there’s a lot to be said for community settlement as a way to increase the ability to do many things – to create more rounded and able folks. And I’m not referring to all the fresh cream and butter. 

They were very hospitable at Canon Frome – I had set up my stay there through the WWOOF program, and was there with one other volunteer. They treated us both very well. Each night a different family fed us and provided a varied perspective on what was happening in the community.

Spent a fair amount of time pulling weeds and managing raspberries, but also got to help put together a Wendy House (AKA –play house) for the kids. Had some chances to milk goats, which just increases my conviction that some day, I must tend goats. Also got to take in the hay, which was a nice community event, and got me sweatin.

The surrounding farmlands are very beautiful. Rolling and pastoral. Went to the movies in Hereford one night which was interesting, as I hadn’t gone to a movie in ages. It was kind of fun to be entertained for the night.

Leaving Herefordshire, I have the feeling that the life at Canon Frome has many benefits and that it is a decent community – some good pearls of wisdom to pull from my time there. Excited to move along to the Chicken Shack where I’ll be helping them to design a permaculture center. It will be nice to shift over to some mental/creative work after my time working with plants and animals.

View of Canon Frome pasture

Wendy House

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