Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Spring in the Valley

Winter came late to the Hudson Valley, waiting until January to really get started, and then striking really hard with some really big snow storms. It snowed and rained all the way into April, and then the sky seemed to clear. Spring came to the valley in the course of what seemed like a few days. The tulips survived the deer with a little help.

Most of the land in the valley was part of the Livingston land grant, and it has been preserved in orchards bearing Apples, Cherries, and other fruits. Many of the farmers grow their produce, fruit, and livestock with organic methods. We thought for a while that the Organic label was just a way to paste a higher price on the food, but once you taste an organic tomato you can't go back. Well, at least you can tell the difference in the middle of the winter when someone brings you a tomato that's been shipped in a rail car from Mexico.

Kathy and I have met Jeff Gimmel, the chef at Swoon Kitchenbar in Hudson, NY. Jeff is determined to use the local supplies from the organic farms in the area, and when matched with his culinary skill, the result is outstanding. I had the opportunity to make the rounds with Jeff as he went to his suppliers on a Thursday morning. As we drove south from Hudson, the cherry trees were in bloom and the trees had been recently trimmed. The branches on the ground were loaded with flowers. The whole field glowed.

With the bloom of spring come more changes for us. We are about to hire a contractor to renovate the house, and we have rented a house within a couple of miles for the duration so a move is afoot. I retired from IBM at the end of April, so I am onto the next thing in my career. With spring comes the promise of all things new.