Saturday, June 14, 2008


I'm about to step through the summer morning to the Red Shed Community Garden, to collect a bag of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) vegetables (photo courtesy Miss Heather).

I particpated in this East Williamsburg CSA last year: all you do is pay around $400 upfront, providing the farmers with spring money for seeds and other farm costs. Then, every week from June until November, you go, meet friendly souls, and fill your tote with radishes, garlic scapes, eggplants, melons, celery roots, basil, turnips, tomatoes, and much more, all fragrant with dirt and sunshine, all delicious. The farm in whose earth my vegetables grow (and in whose earth, essentially, I am a shareholder) is Hearty Roots Farm, in Tivoli, New York, 114 miles from Withers Street, on the west bank of the Hudson, just across the river from Catskill Park and the Ashokan Reservoir, which provides New York City with much of its water, and which, close-to-but-far-from the city, holds its own secrets of gentrification, displacement, and controversy.

Yet...the impetus for my posting at this moment was not the farm, this morning, or my momentary departure, but the radio. Studio 360 just offered listeners, like an aural cup of coffee, a story about the artist Fritz Haeg, who turns suburban front lawns into vegetable gardens. His notion of art today - as something that must activate people and inspire thinking not through the overused lenses of shock, sex, and violence but through the gentler windows of thoughtfulness and possibility - resonates with me, and the story of the suburbs and lives he has gently touched - dealing with a real America (50 percent of Americans now live in suburbs) - is wonderful:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Art should not reflect our culture but should subvert it...."
Birdie Moon