Our first full year growing at our new farm in Newbury was a resounding success. That success was due to a great community effort of dedicated family, staff, volunteers, and collaborators that are committed to building a compassionate and sustainable future. I want to especially thank the two men who worked closely with me to develop the farm and where responsible for most of the day to day labor of growing and harvesting our delicious crops- Michael Everett and JD Hutchison-Maxwel. Both men will be moving on to their next adventures but they will always be close to my heart and are an integral part of the evolving story of New Harmony Farm. JD took time before his move back to Puerto Rico to send me his reflections on being at New Harmony. I want to share his elegant and inspiring insights with you.
"It has given me the greatest pleasure to work at New Harmony Farm for the past two seasons. The opportunity to serve a cause greater than oneself, one based on mutual respect and love for all life, is the highest honor. I have learned much from this job, way more than I could have ever imagined, about farming and a whole lot more. I have given so much to this place, and I have received even more in return. I have seen firsthand the difficulties of establishing a small farm business, of instilling some order into the chaos. I have felt the responsibility of a new business owner when you know that something must get done and that there is no one else to do it. Like working into the dark to protect the peppers and eggplants before an early cold snap, and then rising before dawn to start the next day's harvest.
This is work that requires care, humility, and compassion for all life. In the process, we honor our fundamental interconnectedness with all life. Seen and unseen, and felt, this connection is real. The tides that bind must be stronger than what our differences allow. We must practice patience and humility. We must learn to cultivate relationships as we cultivate crops; selflessly, seeing the whole in each seemingly separate part. The seeds we sow are scattered far and wide, and we know not what we do. But whatever we do, let's do it with love, and we will reap such bounty as cannot be measured in bushels or bunches.
Helping to establish an organic farm with a sweeping holistic vision and a mission of health, wellness, and connection has been my highest honor and my greatest personal challenge. I have been prodded and pushed and stretched in so many ways, pushed to limits physical and mental and emotional. Stressed and exhausted and wounded, I have spilled tears, and blood, and felt the profound depths of despair and the soaring heights of ecstasy and everything in between. This pioneering phase, when the rubber of idealism hits the road of reality, is not for everyone. But most of all, I have felt fulfilled in my work. The sweet satisfaction of honest hard work, of giving it your all and reaping the rewards financial, nutritional, relational, emotional, spiritual; this is the new harmony I found." - John David Hutchison-Maxwell