Friday, April 14, 2023

all I ever wanted


Years ago I had a therapist who described the Saipua team as a ‘family that I could control.’ Ironically now my childhood family lives here or visits regularly. My dad, almost 80, motored down to the lower campus yesterday in the farm’s ATV on his way to cut firewood, shouting a handful of orders to Zoe and I. Deference is a fine skill to possess. We see it in the sheep/dog relations regularly.

The youngest Ryhanen, my nephew Finn - almost 9, comes mid-summer. I’m counting the days till we can run amok around the farm, racing BMX bikes in the driveway, designating areas of the farm as ‘sacrificial snake pits’, and acting weird together.

Can the chaos of certain childhood experiences be soothed by the simulation of control as an adult? I’m not invested enough in my old narratives (or that type of therapy) to investigate any further. However I do believe in cracking the nut of our deepest desires and to that end, let me tell you about the state of our communal refrigerator…

I’m lucky to know many amazing chefs. Flowers and food are natural bedfellows, in that they share many of the same attributes and strifes associated with hospitality, the events industry and classism in general. These chef friends have shaped the food program at Worlds End by cooking here before we even had a kitchen, talking to me late night about refrigerator rubrics, and answering the phone when I was elbow deep in pastry dough emergencies. You know who you are….

There is so much that goes into communal living (communal anything) … the leadership, accountability, exhaustive communication and general participation … amongst the current iteration of live bodies, but also that which has been accumulated through the history of those who have come before.

Tonight, tired and uninterested in scratching my own dinner together at the farmhouse, I opened the big fridge to find all sorts of beautifully labeled cooked grains, soaked beans, defrosted pestos from last summer’s high season, leftover salads, aioli, sourdough and homemade pickles. I was reminded of a conversation I had with a friend years ago about my dream to have all of the best foods on hand in a communal fridge so that anyone at any time could throw together a delicious meal in minutes - no matter how hard the day on the farm was, you could rest in the promise of a stocked fridge when you came up for air.

There are so many moments when this farm is hard but more moments when it is so quietly, ecstatically good that I can hardly believe it’s real.

I can’t wait to feed you all!!!!

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