"A farm can be more than a place just for farmers and can be welcoming, engaging, educational and fun. A farm and it's community can showcase itself through more than just farmers markets and fancy farm to table dinners."
Last Saturday night, Lindsey (my partner) and I attended our local CSA farm for an evening of community and dance. Thankfully we weren't dancing but a project from our state called Farm to Ballet did. Farm to Ballet is a concept created by local dancer Chatch Pregger who wanted to achieve two things. One, was to celebrate the regions farming culture and two, to bring ballet to a new audience.
We arrived expecting the typical little farmers market crowd but instead drove into the property and were shocked by throngs of kids and dogs running around. Families gathered around on picnic blankets, the pizza oven was firing and craft beer was flowing. There had to be at least 150 people attending, which for our sparsely populated corner of the US is an amazing turn out for any event.
But the magic really happened when the two farm owners stood in front of the crowd and proudly spoke to us about how thrilled they were to share this night with all of us. That their farm was more than just a place of production but also a place of community, of sharing and of enjoyment. This was followed by the entrance of the ballet troupe and an hour and a half of the most engaging ballet I have ever been witness too.
The story began with Jack Frost announcing that he had kept the land cold for the winter but was now departing and that the next three seasons where now free for growth. With that we were introduced to the lead dancer who in turn interpretatively introduced us to all her farm animals from the rooster to the pig. Then the dance sequences followed the seasons and the cycles and we watched as seeds were sown, as the roster organized his flock, as irrigation was laid, as seedlings grew. And throughout the entire show the highlight easily had to be the engagement and excitement of the kids during the show. There was never an entrance of a dancer that wasn't followed by a chorus of tiny voices shouting out the characters costume. THERE IS THE GOAT! THERE ARE THE TOMATOES! So damn cute, there was a little confusion as to whether the dancers were strawberries or tomatoes and whether the girls in green holding large green fans above them were lettuce or cabbage but all the same, the kids and the adults all had an awesome time.
This event proved and confirmed so much to me! A farm can be more than a place just for farmers and can be welcoming, engaging, educational and fun. A farm and it's community can showcase itself through more than just farmers markets and fancy farm to table dinners. Maybe it's not ballet, maybe it's interpretive dance, its all the same, as long as someone is dressed up like a cabbage everyone will have a great time!
Farms rock! Hope your guys are all doing great! Sending my love from this big confused, innovative, gun loving country!