Our Amish newlyweds neighbors moved in just a few months after purchasing the farm down the road from us and suffered a blow this past Monday, their house burned to the ground. Yesterday, today and for many days to come a variety of English and Amish neighbors, family and friends will be working to rebuild not only their lost home but community. 40 or more men will be outside measuring, sawing and hammering while inside the woman will offer food, sew and replace all that was lost. It is an often overlooked entity; community. We may live in one or work in one but never be part of it. However, what was once a common thing is coming back in vogue. With CSA’s, farmer’s markets, community gardens and the like springing up everywhere, we commune, we share and care. Recipes, family turmoil, loves and losses all shared over a shank of lamb or red luscious tomatoes.

Amish Barn Raising

At a conference several years back that Gardenshare put on, a head of the college ( forgive me for not remembering his name!) said that in years past we had all these small little roads that lead to the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker. Then we built paved road, highways and superhighways with lots of box stores that offered ‘everything’ and those small roads were lost with lack of use. We hurried, saved “lots of money”. got a lot more sick and wondered why everyone else was always so harried too. Now, we might linger over the farmer’s market have a little less money but enjoy speaking with a neighbor or helping a friend when they really need it. Like our Amish neighbors, we are re-building those small back roads to community.

This might not be the update we usually share but has been what is on our mind in the past month. We have gone from trying to get even bigger this year ( not sure why bigger is always better?) to considering that perhaps what our real goal this year is to pass on what we know to our sons, nephew and nieces and to slow down a bit and linger over what has been accomplished in the last 10 years. Its been a good month.

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