Crisis Farm

Looking south at the house, west to the mountains and bathtub, northwest to the collapsed barn

No one can say I’m not inspired by my surroundings. I have just had the blissful epiphany at the age of 51 that everything I’ve done and not done up until now is what my life is about, and so it is time to make drawings about this. My husband and I have felt very unsure about the big move we made out of Manhattan 10 years ago and up to this old farmhouse on 12 acres in the Catskills. There is so much to say about what has been difficult that I won’t begin. But I think that the photos above give you some idea of our engagement with this place. I am using the word “engagement” very consciously, as it is used to describe battles and war missions; but also as it refers to engagement to be married forever, as in, hopefully in love.

And it wasn’t until my son went off far away from here, to Animation school and met a friend there who was apparently (and much to my son’s surprise) envious of my son’s upbringing on a “crisis farm” as they coined it. That appellation has really pleased me. It explains the whole thing. Not only were we reacting from the crisis of experiencing 911 in NYC, but we were anticipating every crisis that is and may be coming…fuel shortage (note the plastic vegetable oil containers all over the place left over from fueling the diesel jetta for over 100,000 miles and the heaps of fire wood for heating the house on wood), the food crisis (organic gardening, bee-keeping, maple-sugaring, raising chickens, all a must), the crisis in education epitomized by the awesome structure that sculptor and friend Matt Bua is helping my homeschooled son to erect in the yard to satisfy the “Shop” mandate for 7th grade.

So, our place screams of our engagement. You can see bee boxes stacked up against the wall of the house on the left; you can see gardening tools and the wheelbarrow, not neatly put away, because you can also see at the right, our huge collapsing barn. You can see 2 greenhouses way in the background, one small useful one for the 70 or so chickens, and the other a “crisis farm” mistake…a detour into intensive aquaponic gardening that didn’t pan out,.
looking north to the veggie oil car and my studio…
So, this early Spring weather has me outside every morning working on 3 drawings that document my view this Spring of life on the “crisis farm”. If I can, I may even extend it on to a fourth drawing continuing the 180 degree view…There is no end to the view here….

I just realized reading back on what I wrote that I have solved a 10 year problem of what to call this farm…we sometimes have to come up with a name for farm market venues if we want to sell honey, eggs, or raspberries, and now we have it: Crisis Farm. Forget Raspberry Ridge and Joy Farms.

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