The Happy Cat Farm Story
Our legacies chooses us, we don’t choose our legacies. This is what we have learned from a jar of beans. When my grandfather died in a car crash my grandmother gave me a jar of beans she had found in pops shed. I had already started growing food and was a mixture of Elliot Coleman and a biodynamic shaman. That following Christmas an aunt of mine got me the Heirloom Vegetable Gardening by William Woys Weaver. I had already been growing some heirloom stuff. I was lucky enough to work for Tim Stark of Eckerton Hill Farm while I was in college. That is where I bit into a Black Krim (never eaten a tomato like a hand fruit before!) and had an out of body experience. So I emailed William and ended up working for him for a year. The beans in my jar turned out to be old Lancaster County ones, one of which (Stoltzfus String Bean) had be extinct, no one had seen that bean in 70 years until I poured it out unto this coffee table. I was hooked.
Our philosophy is simple:
Live inside of our accountability
Stay bound to our region,
And embrace the aesthetic that rises from the soil.
GROW • COOK • EAT • EDUCATE
Grow :: it’s more than putting a seed in the ground and watching it grow. Yes, that is a life changing practice. But if you dig deeper you will find roots that link us all together. Stories that bind us and hold our hands to the soil. We grow seeds on a human scale and love to pass them from hand to hand as humans have done for centuries. To slow the erosion of our shared genetics and cultures.
COOK :: What isn’t enjoyed in situ needs to become something else. To cook and bake together is to pass our stories, tricks, and traditions from one to another. To transform the work of the field into the treasure of the table is pure alchemy. As we worship our ancestors and stir the pot like our grandparents did. We slow life down to the point that if you listen to the steam and simmer you will hear an arcane language of our shared past.
EAT :: Cesar Chavez once said, “If you really want to make a friend, go to someone's house and eat with him... the people who give you their food give you their heart.” to break bread around the table lit only by candles. Faces aglow from flame, conviviality becomes the main course served at a table where everyone is welcome.
EDUCATE :: To pass along a piece of our passion is how one of my mentors put it. Education is more about shared learning and bilateral exchanges of information.