Volume 1: Issue 3 (Winter)

Winter Solstice 2020

art by Max Silver

Welcome to the Winter Solstice 2020 issue of Farmer-ish. This is it–the last issue of the first year of our journal, born during a pandemic and out of a need to share the creative works of farmers and homesteaders, as well as the need to connect during a time of isolation. Winter Solstice has, over time, because my favorite day of the year because, even though it is the darkest day of the year here in the Northern hemisphere, it is a day of hope–hope for the light that is returning. I have found in my years of working with farm animals that they like the light too, so today is a day of celebration and joy all the way around, during a time when almost all of us could use a little more celebration and joy.

As I put together this last issue of 2020, reading through each piece one more time, choosing images, making final edits, I was struck by the beauty and individuality of each piece that, somehow, miraculously, fits together to share with the world a beautiful glimpse of the life of farmers, homesteaders, and makers, all through a creative lens and a world view that emphasizes the power of our connectedness to the land and to Nature.

Today, as I wrap up this issue, I also wrap up my grading at my full-time job where I teach writing. I am ready for a rest. I am also ready for the peaceful meditation that comes with winter on our little farm–the peaceful meditation of caring for our animals, busting the ice in the mornings (it can be quite therapeutic), and taking in the beauty of Nature in the winter–Nature that is, in many ways, at rest.

I am so proud of this Winter issue. I always feel so proud. I don’t think I could keep doing this if it were any other way. I hope you love these pieces as much as I do. I hope they bring you some joy, make you pause and think, and remind you to rest, to connect to Nature, and to renew your spirits on this important day.

In This Issue

“Being Present” by Alison Blokland

“The Reminder” (poetry) by Sarah Fraser

“The Wonderous Luffa” by Katharyn Privett-Duren

“The Names of the Birds and the Trees” (poetry) by Piyali Nath Dalal