Everybody has something to say about Lewella.
"Tough as nails."
"She was the hardest worker I ever knew."
"She was mother and father to me."
"She either loved you or she hated you."
"If she loved you, you were good for life, and you could come to the party she had every year. But if she didn't trust you, or you crossed her or someone she loved, forget it. No second chance.
"And you'd be bounced out of that party so fast by her gate guards with the shotguns and missing teeth that you'd have to run away and not look back."
- fond memories from neighbors
Lewella grew up on the farm, which had been in her family for three generations. She never married, and she worked and struggled to hold onto it with a fierce love until the day she died.
She tried everything: sheep, pigs, cattle, miniature horses, and collected a lot of junk in the process.
She even agreed in the 1980's to spread stinking municipal sludge as compost over about 35 acres of her fields. Boy that really ticked off the neighbors.
The smell has gone away, but the grass is pretty green up here, and luckily it hasn't left a trace - never was a problem even then - according to our organic certification guys. We checked - that was important to us!.
Every time one of those beautiful thistle flowers turns up around a hedgerow - purple, tall, tough and prickly - I think of Lewella, watching, sticking around, reminding us that she won't abandon this place ever.
Visit us at www.newdayfarmvt.com