In the bleak midwinter, Copake, New York stands isolated. Driving down narrow roads curtained by tall trees, a bend turns and opens to dark fields, empty of vegetation. The sky expands, exposing hovering gray clouds. Nothing breathes within eyesight, save a lone horse shivering next to an open barn. The air sits heavy. All is still.
“I love it. I love it,” says Jenny Elliot, the co-owner of Tiny Hearts Farm. With her husband, Luke Franco, they work fifteen of two hundred acres gated together as the Copake Agricultural Center, which they share with three vegetable farmers. Nestled warm inside their farmhouse, they gaze out into the gray. “You get a chance to reflect on the season, and plan for the next. It just… quiets down.”
They revel in their brief winter Copake respite. Cozy in their craftsman house muted with warm yellow light and dark wood, their son George bounces and sleeps while stems slowly grow in the backyard greenhouse, and perennials root down deep in the exposed ground. The absence of sound and color make for a stark contrast to the flowers they grow in the fury of spring and summer: dahlias, peonies, celosias, and scabiosas, plus hundreds of uncommon varietals they test for color, strength, and vase life.