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67 Merchants Row
Rutland, VT, 05701
United States

(802) 417-1528

Rutland Area Farm and Food Link (RAFFL) promotes local food knowledge, production and market opportunities for farmers and community members throughout our region.

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Love Letter to a Vegetable Farm

Phil Gurley

By Lindsay Courcelle

Dearest farm, with your well-worked fields full of food, I love you. I love you like the bumblebees love their flowers, like the rabbits love their spinach. That is, I need you. It’s as natural as life itself. When my footsteps scatter each morning across the fields and I learn your secrets, like the ripening eggplant hiding under dense foliage, I can’t help but be filled with gratitude for the bounty of Mother Nature and her therapeutic ways.

Farm, you heal me with your beautiful sights and sounds. The panoramic view to the north, the colorful tree line each fall. The melodic bird songs early in the morning. The freshly cultivated beds lovely in their order and neatness, the tall weeds lovely in their chaos and unimpeded growth. Seeing the sun’s energy transformed into fruits will never grow old. Sure, the ripe tomatoes are beautiful, but no more awe-inspiring than the tiniest green beans, barely birthed from delicate purple flowers. The vegetable babes are adorable in that cheek-pinching kind of way, when no other sign of affection will do to communicate your love.

Farm, the people who flock here to tend your rows are great thinkers, artists, philosophers. They are hard working, fair, and kind. I thank you for inspiring helpers, young and old, to gather on our land and work together towards finding joy in every day life, finding health through our labor and feasts, and finding nourishment through the invisible minerals that fit into all the right receptors in our bodies. Many great conversations and alchemical exchanges of energy happen right here, in the field, between humans, plants, birds, and bees. No matter your beliefs, the farm is without a doubt divine. Witness the scent of the swallowtail caterpillar, the sight of an iridescent dragonfly, or the brilliant lavender stems of Red Russian Kale against the blue sky and you will understand.

Farm, you bring people joy. When the tables are stacked high on market mornings, the customers can’t help but be drawn in. The bits of your soil that linger on carrots and beets, the grains of wisdom that you teach, all are handed off to new souls whose bellies, minds, and bodies will be nourished with your fruits. Some will recognize the majestic way that the power of the sun was harnessed. Others will rejoice in the flavors of their dinner. All will absorb the good energy of earth, water, air, just as naturally as our own bodies are made up of these elements. It can be no other way!

Farm, the lessons you teach resonate to my core. It takes dedication to tend the field, and patience in knowing that growth and change are inevitable but not quick or easy. There are days when we are soaked to the bone, on the brink of exhaustion, or watching hail rip through our crops. But without those days, would the first tomato taste as sweet? Would the red peppers shine so brilliantly? Life is full of both rain and shine, and that is what makes it so beautiful. We learn to be gentle with the plants so that we can learn to be gentle with ourselves and our loved ones, nurturing until at last, nature takes its course and we bloom and thrive. As Anaïs Nin so wisely wrote, “the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Lindsay Courcelle and her husband Scott own Alchemy Gardens. Learn more at

Originally published in the Rutland Herald.