Sometimes reading a romance novel is an escape. Something familiar that doesn’t inspire deep thought, but provides good emotions and a perfect, neat, happily ever after. Sometimes reading a romance novel teaches you something: about the world, about yourself. Farm Fresh does the latter.
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.
Not only are there details of living on a commune, information on organic farming and sustainable living, but the celebration of free love. Naturism or nudism, polyamory, open relationships; the care with which all of these things are handled by Kaleidoscope Gardens’ tenants and Posy’s writing is eye opening. Seeing Jude struggle with his abusive past and Hudson deal with his feelings of abandonment and jealousy is as well. That people can be open to free love but still want to be sexually exclusive – knowing that love, sexuality, all of that is a spectrum is one thing, but seeing so many points on that spectrum laid out with such reverence is another.
Posy writes sparsely and plainly, and while I sometimes wanted more description, both for the pacing of the story’s sake and to draw out the action or the conversation a little longer, the simplicity helps make the complicated nature of the characters and their relationships easier to understand.
You’ll fall in love with numerous members of the commune, and hope to get their stories in future installments of Naked Organics. But Jude will steal your heart first, even as Hudson is making it ache. And you’ll get your happily ever after, too.