Monday, March 26, 2007

Spring Has Sprung!

Well, a lag in the posting due to Spring officially arriving, the greenhouses officially opening, and planting officially commencing! We are finally farming again - a much-anticipated annual cycle. We have some really fun crops this year, including: okra, shell peas, and tons of heirloom tomatoes, colorful cherry tomatoes, tons of fingerling potatoes, greens galore and all the peppers you could want! This time of year is so great - all the anticipation and potential for success. It's such nice time before anything has gone wrong; pests, floods, too much rain, too much sun, irrigation pump snafus, etc. Right now from where I'm sitting, everything looks pretty rosy! Plus, the snow's almost all gone! Also part of my rosy outlook: I can face mudseason with my newly purchased Muck Boots! They are fantastic - I feel practically invincible in them!

Some pics to show the process:

The seeds arrive and we begin the organization process

The snow is finally almost gone - there was easily 3 feet of snow here just 2 weeks ago!

The seeding begins!

Microgreens seeded...

...and one week later! One week to go until we harvest!

Barlettas - a fantastic white pearl onion.

The golden beets are up!

Mache - our specialty French green. This is the first time we've grown it when it's supposed to grow; the winter. We planted it in the hoophouse in November, and planned to harvest it now-ish. As you can see, it's ready! We made our first sale of the year today to Healthy Living Market - a whole 2 weeks earlier than last year! This was a fun project!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

A Terroir-ist's Manifesto

Thought I'd share this with you - nicely outlines the purpose of the RAFT project (Renewing America's Food Traditions), which we are heavily involved with this year. The author of the Terroir-ist's Manifesto is Gary Paul Nabhan, who will be our speaker this year at the Vermont Fresh Network Forum in August. This forum will be serving as the first National RAFT Picnic, where we will be enjoying chef-prepared local-indigenous foods grown out by Vermont farmers. I am in charge of getting the Vermont Farmers the lists of our indigenous varieties to grow-out the crops in time for our picnic this year. If you want to download the RAFT book, you can easily do that here (just scroll to the bottom of the page). Enjoy!

A Terroir-ist’s Manifesto For Eating in Place
Renewing America’s Food Traditions

Know where your food has come from
through knowing those who produced it for you,
from farmer to forager, rancher or fisher
to earthworms building a deeper, richer soil,
to the heirloom vegetable, the nitrogen-fixing legume,
the pollinator, the heritage breed of livestock,
and the sourdough culture rising in your flour.

Know where your food has come from
by the very way it tastes:
its freshness telling you
how far it may have traveled,
the hint of mint in the cheese
suggesting what the goat has eaten,
the terroir of the wine
reminding you of the lime
in the stone you stand upon,
so that you can stand up for the land
that has offered it to you.
Know where your food has come from
by ascertaining the health & wealth
of those who picked & processed it,
by the fertility of the soil that is left
in the patch where it once grew,
by the traces of pesticides
found in the birds & the bees there.
Know whether the bays & shoals
where your shrimp & fish once swam
were left richer or poorer than before
you & your kin ate from them.

Know where your food comes from
by the richness of stories told around the table
recalling all that was harvested nearby
during the years that came before you,
when your predecessors & ancestors,
roamed the same woods & neighborhoods
where you & yours now roam
Know them by the songs sung to praise them,
by the handmade tools kept to harvest them,
by the rites & feasts held to celebrate them,
by the laughter let loose to show them our affection.

Know where your foods come from
by the patience displayed while putting them up,
while peeling, skinning, coring or gutting them,
while pit-roasting, poaching or fermenting them,
while canning, salting or smoking them,
while arranging them on a plate for our eyes to behold.
Know where your food comes from
by the slow savoring of each and every morsel,
by letting their fragrances lodge in your memory
reminding you of just exactly where you were the very day
that you became blessed by each of their distinctive flavors.

When you know where your food comes from
you can give something back to those lands & waters,
that rural culture, that migrant harvester,
curer, smoker, poacher, roaster or vinyer.
You can give something back to that soil,
something fecund & fleeting like compost
or something lasting & legal like protection.
We, as humans, have not been given
roots as obvious as those of plants.
The surest way we have to lodge ourselves
within this blessed earth is by knowing
where our food comes from.

Gary Paul Nabhan, January 2007

Monday, March 05, 2007

Farmers of the Future!

Our local paper, the Seven Days did a nice article and decided to include us in it. It talks about how young folks are trying their hand at farming, and making a decent living at it. We're proud to be one of the profiled farms. Stay tuned for a front-page article in Cornell University's Small Farm Quarterly coming up in April! Click Here to go to the article online.