Friday, September 06, 2013


ok, now i'm going to go back and tell you about some stuff that happened in may.

you know, because while i like to tell to the story, i do not feel bound by temporal constraints.

no, seriously. i'm only getting to sorting out the pictures now.

so anyway, on thursday 9 may even though i did not tell you where i was at the time, i was sitting enjoying a lovely evening on the patio at the ulysses philomathic society, otherwise known as the trumansburg public library. i was doing my usual computer things: checking emails, playing a game, doing research and solving geocache puzzles, which requires some research.

it is very pleasant sitting there.

and the librarian came out and asked me if i would like to come inside for a book reading, partly because she thought i might enjoy it, and partly because she wanted another butt in the chair for a community program.

i understand that second motivation. when you are putting on a community event, you like to fill the chairs. and the librarian is about seventeen different kinds of awesome, so even if i hadn't actually been interested, i would have gone in anyway.

it turns out they were doing a community read of seedfolks, with the idea that everybody gets a copy of the book and then passes it on to another library or person. and they were reading it out loud in chapters on thursday nights with readings by local celebrities. the reader the night i was there was the chief of police.


and also present was a woman who works at good life farm, where they are preparing for ASPARAGANZA! people tell me i should go.

so i figure i gotta go see that. at the very least, i am fond of asparagus and enjoy looking at pretty fields.

plus it's a discipline to just say yes to the opportunities that arise.

ok, so i go to a geocache to start the day, and then i make my way out to the farm.

there's supposed to be some sort of demonstration of worksongs, a participatory thing and although i am a musician by training and trade i am naturally suspicious of participatory singing events. sometimes they are AWESOME but sometimes they are a forced frogmarch relying on the indulgence and goodwill of the crowd.

but i get there and there's this crowd of people lustily singing what turns out to be some kind of alpine sheep herding song and then the guy tells us we're going to sing a marching song, and that's all right, but we're not just going to sing a marching song; we're going to MARCH.

and i am thinking "ok. this is gonna be way more better than i had imagined."

this turns out to be not just way more better than i had imagined, but way more better than i COULD have imagined, because we do not just march over there with our marching song, but we have marched right to an agricultural field and now we are going to sing some fieldwork songs, so they hand us tools and we weed three rows of baby apple trees.

while learning and singing worksongs.

this is SO not what i expected.

i am smiling so hard i think my face might break.

often i give links in line with the story, kind of subtly, but i want to tell you flat out that these people doing the song leading are bennett and edith, of allemande farm. you should go listen to some of their audio and stuff.

i would show you the sweet video i took while i was there, but a sad data transfer accident left me without most of the video i took while i was on the road.

i have stills, but no video. it is very sad.

after the worksonging (i still find the odd verbing of this noun disturbing) i wander around for a bit and then there's a tour of the farm, which makes me happy for about a bazillion reasons, among them that it is a pretty farm, and that there are people working hard at raising food in a sustainable, moral, and joyful way.

afterward i find myself talking with a nice couple who are in town to buy a goat, and i wander off to figure out which of the many ways asparagus is being served today i should try.

if i had a lot of money, i just would have tried everything, but i am on rather a limited budget, so expensive artisanal foods are a little beyond my reach, but i have a little money budgeted for special things, and this qualifies as a special thing.

i get the asparagus combination plate which is a hard choice over the kielbasa with ramps, but this is not the ramp festival. it is asparaganza.

so asparagus.

and then after a while it is time for me to get fully immersed in whiplash

culture shock. i am about to visit the starlite speedway, which is a lot of stuff that asparaganza is not.

what they have in common is that the people are kind to me.

and that it is amazing to be there.

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