Jude Garrity visits the farmers market every Saturday. As an environmental engineering student, he’s curious about living off the grid and sustainable agriculture.
And one particular farmer.
Hudson Oliva has worked hard to support his commune, where queer people live without fear of harm or retribution. When Jude asks pointed questions about living there, Hudson realizes he needs to be honest about his home. Few people know what the farm is actually about, but Jude is insistent.
Jude moves to Kaleidoscope Gardens, however his sexual hang-ups make it hard to adjust. He’s an uptight virgin living among people who have sex freely and with multiple partners. When Jude finally loosens up, Hudson is flooded with emotions. Falling for Jude wasn’t part of Hudson’s life plan. But when vindictive rumors about the commune begin to spread, love might be all he has left.
'Farm Fresh' is actually book #1 in Posy Roberts series 'Naked Organics' in 'Naked Origins, Hudson' we basically got the story of how Hudson came to live at Kaleidoscope Gardens and in 'Farm Fresh' we're given more of his life and the addition of Jude a young man whose past seems to be similar to Hudson's and to whom Hudson has a very strong attraction.
While Hudson was looking to find somewhere that he could be himself and not feel he had to hide his sexuality or be ashamed of it, Jude is struggling to accept himself as a sexual being and to not only be able to express himself sexually but to not be ashamed of his needs and desires.
After months of seeing each other at the local farmer's market, Jude finally works up the courage to ask Hudson about all aspects of life at Kaleidoscope Gardens and what it means to live at the commune. Hudson decides that he needs to give Jude truthful answers. Answers that will either draw him in or scare him away. Jude is drawn in, he feels like maybe this is the place he's been looking for. Someplace where he can safely get himself sorted out.
While Jude and Hudson are very central to this story because of the dynamics of their household so are Leo and Charlie the other two men who share a house with Jude and Hudson and who their actions directly impact the most. However, while they do figure prominently in this story it's in somewhat of an indirect manner and I'm hopeful that there's a story that deals more directly with the past and future of these two men and will be shared with us in the near future..dare I hope?
For me the dynamics of commune life is not something I'm familiar with, however, I was intrigued to read a story that focused on a lifestyle that I knew so little about. How accurately this story portrays this lifestyle I don't know and I would hazard a guess that it would depend very much on the individual commune. But I felt like the author did a rather effective job of making me open my mind to the possibilities offered by this type of lifestyle. I liked all the environmentally friendly aspects of it. It was interesting and different.
While the social structure of the commune was in some ways dramatically different from what I've known, I very much liked the idea of people being accepted for who they are and not having to hide their true self or pretend to be someone they're not until it came to the point where I felt like Jude was being told that he had to participate in all aspects of commune life...wait...so does this mean if he's asexual he won't be accepted? That to me doesn't seem right in a commune where everyone's suppose to be able to be themselves free of judgement and accepted by all and yet, there seems to be a condition on the acceptance. Admittedly this niggled at me and still does. In spite of the fact that I know that this was not the case where Jude was concerned.
Ironically the other issue for me was Hudson. He was so interested in Jude and then once Jude arrives at the commune...charming adorable Hudson kind of turned into a bag of dicks...not cool Hudson, but of course everything wasn't quite that simple. Mostly because Hudson seemed to have some unresolved issues of his own and at times I felt like he was left dangling in the wind with no one to support him in his hour of need so to speak. So for me there was a bit of frustration during this part of the story and I'm ok with all that because I like it when a story gives me a bit of an emotional roller coaster ride. It makes me think and consider options, look at things from a different perspective, sometimes I even change my viewpoint midstream because something clicks into place that I initially miss.
Was this story perfect...no, definitely not but overall I really enjoyed 'Farm Fresh' and I'm looking forward to reading more. The world of Kaleidoscope Gardens is a work in progress but so is my world so I can appreciate what's good and what's still broken and needs fixing.
Sometimes it's the pieces of perfection that we find among the imperfections that can shine the brightest and give the most hope.
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Reading gives us someplace to go, when we have to stay where we are. (Mason Cooley)
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