Artist Linda Hoffman saved an orchard and reshaped her life at Old Frog Pond Farm in Harvard, Massachusetts. When she moved to the farm she didn't know anything about apple-growing. More than twenty years later, the farm is one of the few organic pick-your-own orchards in New England, as well as a hub for a thriving community of visual artists, writers, and spiritual seekers. Hoffman, the mother of three children, a Zen practitioner, and a breast cancer survivor, has now written about her extraordinary journey in The Artist and the Orchard: A Memoir.
An honors graduate of Bryn Mawr College with a degree in Fine Arts, Linda Hoffman studied at the Sorbonne and at the École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris. Awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship after graduating from college, she trained for two years in the Noh Theater in Kyoto, Japan.
A lifelong passion for poetry converged in 1981 with her work as a graphic artist in the form of her first sculpture, a poem in cloth, launching an extensive exploration of narrative sculpture incorporating language, natural fibers, wood, stone, and found objects. In 1997, she began using old agricultural tools to create lyrical and poignant sculptures decrying New England’s vanishing agricultural landscape. Represented in museums and private collections, Hoffman has public sculptures installed in towns and cities across the region. A contributor to WBUR’s Cognoscenti, Hoffman was a founding editor of Wild Apples, a journal of nature, art, and inquiry. She is the author of three chapbooks of art and poetry, and the letterpress art book, Winter Air, created in memory of her mother, Dr. Annette Weiner.
In 2006, five years after Hoffman and her three children moved into an old farmhouse with an abandoned orchard, Old Frog Pond Farm in Harvard, Massachusetts became the first organic pick-your-own orchard in Massachusetts. Now, with more than fifteen years of experience growing organic apples, Hoffman contributes to a holistic apple growers’ forum, teaches workshops, and is respected by an influential holistic apple-growing community.
She lives with her partner, Blase, his parrot, Orco, and friends who move in for a few days, weeks, or a season who are part of the farm’s growing creative and spiritual community. A Zen Buddhist, Hoffman's dharma name Shinji means Truth in the Soil. The Artist and the Orchard: A Memoir is her first book.