very first seed, whether vegetable or philosophical, there
began a struggle between ideology and practicality. They were
not to enslave anyone or anything. Then who, or what, would
pull the plow? They would not rob the cow of its milk or the
sheep of its wool. Some argued that only "aspiring"
vegetables would be grown. Root crops pointed towards hell.
were not alone in their wishes to redefine human existence.
Just north of Fruitlands were the Shakers. There were sprinkled
around New England hydropathists, who looked for salvation
in pure water; Grahamites, who were to be saved through whole
wheat; and Millerites, who expected the Second Coming in 1844.
began in 1976, here on Thistle Hill. We were just out of college,
a small school a few miles down the road from Alcott's Fruitlands.
We began our teaching careers, built our home, and then, our
Fruitlands began. As with many experiments, we are not quite
sure how or even why. At first there came the sugarhouse,
then the acre of raspberries. There was always room for more
fruit trees. How about blueberries? We could make preserves
and vinegars.Our experiment continued with raising llamas
and now has taken on a new course with the opening of our
home for a bed and breakfast.
recently asked if it were wise naming our farm and bed and
breakfast after a "failure." After all, Alcotts
had to leave their farm in a year. Perhaps...but isn't any
experiment in many ways a success? As Emerson wrote, "The
voyage of the best ship is a zig-zag course."
you to visit our farm / bed and breakfast atop Thistle Hill.
In many ways the true remedy for our hurried 21st Century
routines can be found in turning off the beaten path to find
new places and to make new friends... if only for a while.
Dale & Janet
Read more about
Fruitlands in Harvard, MA. Also,
visit the home
of the Alcott family and the site where Louisa May Alcott
wrote her classic, Little Women. You may be interested
in the idea of utopian
communities as defined by the Transcendentalist Movement.