Return to Roots...


I invite you to join me at a delicious and propitious time and place:

Over the next few months, I hope to be “buying the farm!”

I mean that in only the best senses of the words – "buying the farm" as an investment in, showcase for and shared experience of all things, agriculture, work, life and play.

It feels like a long-awaited homecoming and a well-timed springing forth.

Twenty one years ago, I founded FarmHands-CityHands to link farm and city for the social, cultural, environmental and economic enrichment of both. Through it, tens of thousands of New Yorkers visited area farms to get their hands dirty and their minds clean; to learn first-hand what does and doesn’t grow on trees.

Our tag line was “New York: Love it and Leave It.”

FarmHands-CityHands was about building bridges between producer and consumer – enriching and cross-stitching rural and urban people and fabrics and proving that, in truth, we feed each other.

For many country-hungry city dwellers, FarmHands was a dream come true.

For me, it was the fruition of a dream I’d been living for a long time.

When I was five, my family moved to a Maryland subdivision that could easily be considered “cookie-cutter.” But not for us: Our street backed onto a farm that had once encompassed much of the county, but that year-by-year was carved away to make way for more homes. I went down to the farm whenever possible – always eager to learn more and help out. By the time I was twelve, the farm gave me a shack that served as a clubhouse. Some days, friends prevailed, and we went to the strip mall at the other end of our street. More often, we were on the farm, playing and working at what we would later become – journalists, entrepreneurs, farmhands.

It was a thread that I would hold to tight and work with always.

At college, I found myself writing about energy and agriculture and delving into Cajun culture – trawling the bayou, frying up every kind of creature, baking biscuits with the best of them.

In France, a series of hands-on food and farming articles found me fishing for eel, force-feeding geese, making Camembert and Calvados and fostering new forms of agri-tourism.

Fast forward a few career incarnations in food, wine, farming, media and technology. Add an increased urgency for conservation, preservation and education. Bring it all together, and we have....

The Renewable Ranch – a paragon of renewable energy, agriculture and lifestyle and a "green" resort where folks from all walks of life can brew biodiesel, grow food, tend vines, make wine, herd sheep, eat well, see stars, sleep sound...and so much more.

Like Spring, The Renewable Ranch could be coming sooner or later! And it begs your involvement. So please stay tuned!

Warmly and looking forward,
Wendy Dubit, Vergant

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