Thursday, October 18, 2018

Zoe and Meg yesterday bringing in the last flower harvest. We had our first frost last night, right on time. October 17th.

There is a lot that happens emotionally at first frost - a desperation in the end or a surrendering. There is a lot of negotiating; with half brained schemes to cover my favorite rows of flowers or the late planted arugula that we barely got to enjoy. Ultimately it is an exercise in letting go.

In the perpetual rom-com that is Worlds End I played boysIImen 'So hard to say goodbye' in the field as they cut the last chocolate cosmos (our best crop yet).

There's so much I have to tell you about changes here and the plans we have for 2019 at Saipua and Worlds End and I don't want to wait I want to tell you right now, all 75 of you who have found me here since quitting instagram... (smiling, because there is a funny story there I'll tell you soon.)

I'm so excited.

First, those of you who know me know I have a very hard time selling things, especially 'experiences' or nature. Over the last few years there have been a hundred ways for me to sell more flowers, soap, dinners, and classes. As a business woman I should have considered and opted for these marketing schemes in order to make a profit and fuel the engine of what we're building at Worlds End. In the end I have often opted not too because it feels slimy to market our lifestyle - which is arguably what makes our products unique, and it takes away from the value of the experience of those of us working inside this experiment. If we sit down to dinner together and then I snap photos and tell everyone about it on instagram or the internet then it cheapens that experience for those who are present. It turns them into a product that essentially, I am selling. I don't want to sell the people I love.

Last week I summoned some of our community to dinner at the farm. We slaughtered lambs, cut 50 feet of turnip greens from our daikon cover crop, exhausted our tomato stash and ate like royalty. I said to them - this is what I want, all the time, with you and others. I don't want that to ever be about a money exchange.

But each of those 40 or so people left the next day and went back into the world where money makes their lives possible. I realize that if I want this great experiment to continue, if I want the resources and energy to really explore alternative economies and new ways of working, then I have to get out of my own way. I have to wake up to the fact that in my lifetime at least, selling a product is going to be an essential tool in changing the current mechanisms. I keep coming back to Audre Lorde's essay 'The Masters Tools Will Never Dismantle the Masters House' -- a line that is so valuable in thinking about revolutionizing the way we approach race, the patriarchy, capitalism and all the of the antiquated systems that bind us in this current world.

So I've been thinking about the business recently in terms of simple products. Things, objects that are tangible and simple. One day I want those things we need - food, clothing, beauty -- to be free and shared like the gifts that they are. But in order to do that work, that thinking, I have to make space for those conversations and that space is created still in a money based economy.

So, here's my plan in a nutshell. We're moving the soap operation here from my mothers house and expanding it to include other crafts that we create here from resources at the farm - textiles from our sheep, wooden bowls and objects turned from our wood lot, seed collections from our flower field. And we're going to sell lunch; our everyday homemade meals using our meat and vegetables Monday-Friday days starting in June.

And of course, we're going to sell flowers - but in a new simpler way. No more flower walls, no more installations and no more wedding planners. We're going to do what I've always wanted to do -- sell just flowers, gorgeous centerpieces and bouquets made with the dream flowers we grow here ourselves - and for all budgets. Because I reject the notion that beautiful flowers are exclusively for the wealthy.

For this I need another designer along side me, a person who knows about flowers, especially farm flowers who can help oversee what will be the new Saipua studio here at Worlds End.

This person needs to have 2 years of floral experience, with a portfolio to show me. He/she needs to live on the farm full time with us from May-October 2019. He/she needs to be willing to oversee and teach (alongside me) two apprentices and manage weekly small (!) wedding orders. This person is compassionate and extremely hard working. The stipend is $650 a week/meals and housing provided. Email me with your interest.


LPC said...

Your friendly capitalist fan approves. In business terms, World's End is your largest fixed cost. It's your most important investment. So building a business around it makes sense. Some efforts will pan out, some will not. But you are staying close to your point of differentiation, close to home being in this case the same thing. Selling a product is only one step removed from simple barter. Selling a "lifestyle," on purpose, is malignant bull****.

Because even some capitalists have hearts, and realize that the term "investment," can mean many things, same with "costs."

Justine Goes Green said...

I'm so excited for you. In many ways, you're living the life I hope to achieve one day. It's also so heartening to hear that this process of growth and change with Saipua has given you better clarity into how you want to live your day to day life.

I'm also excited for myself because Saipua may now be more accessible to me! Cheers to you and the work you do!

Becca Brown said...

I love your re-kindled blog, Sarah! Thank you for sharing your path so openly. It's such an inspiring one. I'm also in a phase of re-envisioning (new baby, new work stuff), and it's a relief to see others whom I admire in the same boat. Good luck and much love.

Unknown said...

I'll admit, I was worried that by you quitting instagram that I'd no longer get to read your writing. I like the way you think and am happy that it continues here in this space. I'd bet there are more than 75 of us though...!

rare things said...

so heartwarming to witness you, again, leading the resistance.
i so miss you doing so in realtime, yet this space is the inception, where you journal and share.
i mezcal to your health and long life of flowers, 4-legged and 2-legged beings in world's end.
may you prosper in impermanence dear teacher.

yours from oaxaca, flores rudas
(named after you inspired me to use rue as beauty mark) miss you, sarah. mucho amor.

Shelley said...


Sarah York said...

I love your writing and views on things and am so glad you are continuing to share your thoughts on your blog. What a beautiful direction you are taking. Your sincerity in what you do has made me admire Saipua for more than flowers (although your flowers are AMAZING! Obviously.) I have been ruminating on similar ideas, thank you for sharing the Audre Lorde essay. So much to think about.... I look forward to seeing all you do! xo

Issa said...