I have had nearly a week to reflect on Nigel’s Memorial, the past month or so, and my life in general. May and June normally puts life into hyper drive, with back to back events on the farm. Lavender Harvest alone is such a major happening it takes a couple of weeks of planning and organizing, but it so important for the livelihood of the farm. With the memorial just a weekend later it really felt like everything this year has been so much bigger, and that much more overwhelming.
After all the logistical and emotional struggles of planning it all came together. Seeing all your loving faces, and getting countless hugs filled with heart, helped this family in so many ways. Firing up that pizza oven and cranking out pizzas once we got the hang of it (the process was a bit of learning curve) I could see it was the perfect tribute to Nigel. I literally saw people coming together around food on the farm, what better way to say “thank you Nigel”. I have to say a really big thank you to CSA member Kristen, from All Good Pizza, and Joe and Amy from Marla Bakery who made pizza doughs for us. Making pizza dough for over 100 people I know would have been an overwhelming task for me, so my appreciation for their gift is great.
Sunday morning everyone got up ready to work. We were joined by Carolyn who drove up early to join the setup team. Amazing how fast the work gets done when you have extra hands. Tam, Cory’s partner came out to put together some simple farm bouquets that were just what Nigel would have loved. Thank you, all of you, not just for your helping hands but for brining your spirits to help keep ours lifted.
It isn’t easy putting together a memorial without the guidelines of organized religion. It has been one of the hardest things I have ever done, but with the help of my “framily” we got there. My friend Mark read from one of Nigel’s favorite books Opening Doors Within written by Eileen Caddy a co-founder of the Findhorn Community. He read the page that was open on Nigel’s phone, probably the last one he read. Paige shared a piece by Kahlil Gibran. Lizzie, sweet Lizzie, made sure we got a timeline of Nigel’s life. She put together a beautiful piece that covered Nigel’s whole life. She reminded us of his adventurous and fearless spirit, and through her words we all were also reminded of how much we have lost. As my family stood together in front of everyone we found comfort in the words. But looking out at your faces I found affirmation for the work we are doing, it was all there right in front of us.
She reminded us of his adventurous and fearless spirit, and through her words we all were also reminded of how much we have lost. As my family stood together in front of everyone we found comfort in the words. But looking out at your faces I found affirmation for the work we are doing, it was all there right in front of us.
We invited people to dip a wine cork into Nigel’s ashes and go “plant” them around the farm. I loved hearing the stories of where people put their corks and why. Many people had their special connections with Nigel and found their perfect spot for him on this farm. Having his community be a part of his final act on the farm seemed appropriate. His connection to the land and to all of you was what he lived for. Thank you for taking part.
I cannot finish this newsletter up without mentioning the Care Share program. I learned early on in Nigel’s battle with cancer just how important nourishing food was for him in that fight. When we came home from the hospital the first time, all those years ago, Nigel and I decided to offer up 10 boxes every week to people who are fighting serious illness, no strings attached. When we wrote about this program several members offered to donate so that we could give out even more boxes. Last year, in Nigel’s honor, thousands of dollars in donations came in. These donations have enabled us to help even more people. We bring 8 boxes every week, one for each kitchen, to The Family House in SF. The Family House serves as a home away from home for families of children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses, who are receiving treatment at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. We also deliver boxes each week to the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House for the seniors who have lunch there weekly. These are our regular weekly donations, but there are many individuals who sign up for a Care Share and enjoy boxes as long as they need them.mI have had some amazing correspondences with people who have told me how much it helps them to have a box of fresh veggies each week. Not only does this program provide people with fresh organic fruits and vegetables, we are able to take a little something off a long list of somethings that need to get done weekly. And that is almost as important as the food itself.
Almost all of our Care Share referrals have come from CSA members. For those of you who don’t know about this program or how it works, it is really simple. The only requirement is the ability for someone to pick up the box and get it to them. Anyone can set it up on their behalf, relative or friend or even you. Send Noelle an email, at firstname.lastname@example.org, requesting a Care Share. She will walk you through the setup to create the account. A simple box of produce might not seem like much to you, but it can really make a difference in someone’s recovery.
If you would like to donate to the Care Share fund, there are two ways to do that. You can easily make a donation by going to the webstore and look for the option that best suits you. Another very easy way to help support this program is to donate your box rather than putting it on hold. With your help we can reach even more people and that is what really matters. Thank you so much to the people who donate to the Care Share Fund on a regular basis, I know we are making a big difference in many people’s lives.