I just finished a very busy weekend at the farm with lots of visitors out for maple Sunday. Throughout the weekend I was reminded by several customers about why they come here regularly. Not only for the good food or groceries to go home with, but rather some down time to hang out and absorb the energy that is here.
I have been at Nezinscot for over thirty years now, and every day I know exactly what you are all saying. I worked off the farm after college for a few years. During which time, I too couldn’t wait to get back to the farm. To the point where I decided I needed to stay home on the farm and do something different.
While here, I have had the pleasure of housing a number of wonderful young adults, employed some long and short-term young and older adults and became den mother to several young ladies and gentleman from the ages of 2 to 25.
Nezinscot is truly quite a place. Due to not so much to what Gregg and I have created here, but rather the draw that the land has on those visiting, staying or working here. This farm has brought us the people we needed to make it all happen, and while here, the farm has given back by offering its resources of nourishment. I would even dare say that it is Nezinscot that has made me the person I am today. Perhaps what we have created has played a piece to the attraction, but when here there is a grounding aspect that allows all who come, the opportunity to sit, breath and get a little better perspective of what is going on in their lives. For some, that perspective is troubling and leads to agitation; making their stay short and perhaps leaving more confused or frustrated. For most, the visit is like a well-taught meditation or yoga class; rejuvenated and prepped for another week.
Being aware of the power that this farm has on myself and family, I have come to believe that all who visit and or work here are also drawn for some reason to wanting to be here as well.
Today, I want to write about a very special lady who started a career here over 20 years ago. We call her “Our Betty”. She started in the kitchen working alongside another woman about her age. She arrived when my two oldest daughters were 5 and 6 years old, and at a time that I really needed extra help. She soon became the house mother; better yet my den mother. I would answer to her needs and her schedule. My children, being observant, would use that to their advantage. Like all of the other staff that have come and gone from Nezinscot, she wasn’t denied being put to the approval test by my kids. She always fell for the “Mom said so” and hand over the piece of cake for a snack rather than fruit. They would go to her for support when denied by their mother (she apparently had a way to get them what they wanted); most of the time it worked. However, she didn’t always share with me everything that transpired when I wasn’t around. Perhaps that is what gave her an edge over some of the others.
It would take a few years before Betty shared the story of my second daughter (for those of you who know which one that is, you can probably see her saying it) walking into the store overhearing Betty and co-worker laughing about a situation. My daughter, with hands on her hips looked at Betty and stated “You better get back to work, or my mother is going to give you the Yax” (not a typo as she was only five at the time and had a bit of a speech impediment). She had a seriousness about her that had most adults treading lightly around her. When you did pass her test, which took Betty two years, you became her biggest fan and she had your back on all situations.
Betty not only endured my two oldest daughters but maintains a unique relationship with our middle daughter (who we believe is different in part due to “Her Betty”) monthly sleepovers since the age of 2, church suppers and mingling with lots of older adults. Letters are written back and forth between the two of them and sent snail mail; Betty doesn’t text or email. The boys are referred to as her “Handsome Boys”. Homemade treats set on their beds or left in the cooler with their names on them whenever she now comes to visit/work (usually once a week weather permitting ) to help with household type chores.
Betty doesn’t have to work. I believe she continues to come to the farm because of the farm like us, needs her. She does for me what the farm does for lots of you; brings peace.
I am glad the farm brought her to us, glad that at the age of 80+ she still comes to help out and hopeful that there are many more Betty’s who will be heading our way in the future for the next generation.