Amanda Russell “Neighbors”

Farm field
Amanda Russell’s field. Courtesy of Amanda Russell

This story appeared in the 2021 summer issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener in response to the theme “Neighbors.”

We are all neighbors, whether we live next door to each other or 5 miles away from each other. In my town, whether we know each other or not, we call each other neighbors: as in “Ned? This is your neighbor, Amanda,” I might say when I call up Ned. Or, “Hey Amanda, you know our neighbors over on Mill Road, the ones with the chickens that are always in the middle of the freakin’ road?” a neighbor once asked me. “Oh yes, I know them,” I probably answered, even though I didn’t know them, those neighbors of mine. I knew their chickens (quite well), but not them. Still, they were my neighbors just the same. That’s the way it was when Brady and Brendan of Morning Dew Farm came to us about using our field. We loved the idea so much that I asked our neighbors down the road if they would consider Morning Dew using their big field, and they loved the idea so much that they asked neighbors across the road if they would consider Morning Dew using their field, and then, soon after that, another one of our neighbors had Morning Dew in her field. Pretty soon, four of us neighbors had Morning Dew in our fields, taking care of the land lovingly, organically, productively. We were all thrilled about helping Morning Dew out in such a neighborly way – even though Brady and Brendan lived a couple of miles away in the next town over. Geography has nothing to do with being neighbors, come to find out: respect for each other and the land makes neighbors. Morning Dew has their Forever Farm now. They are no longer in all of our fields. Still, they are our neighbors and we are theirs.

Amanda Russell
Edgecomb, Maine

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