Late summer update, food (a love story), pictures
Late summer update:
We’ve settled into a pretty solid routine. This week in addition to fulfilling orders, delivering CSA shares and attending the Burlington Farmer’s Market, we will be heavily focused on fall cover cropping. We will be seeding a combination of oats/field peas that will winter kill. Next spring, we will use this ground for early crops in the year 2012. We’ve been on this farm for ten years now, and we’re finally beginning to think long term. We will be seeding roughly fifteen acres to yellow clover which we will plow down in July of 2012. Stale bedding follows for optimal weed control, and re-seeding to oats/field peas in late August of 2012–the cycle continues. This will be the acreage we will use to start the 2013 season. The first decade on this farm was simply too hectic to focus heavily on cover cropping, we’ve known this to be a weak point on our farm. It’s gratifying to be able to focus on some of the things that are needing improvement, and to take these steps that will build fertility and ultimately keep us in business.
In addition to cover cropping, we watch our new livestock guardian dog Emmett grow by leaps and bounds, we are cleaning out greenhouses, and last week we slaughtered 392 chickens. Watermelon and cantaloupe are the exciting crops coming up next and we look forward to a fall winter squash harvest.
Food (a love story)
Man, we love food. It’s the number one perk of this job. There’re kids starving in Africa, and yet we are able to gorge ourselves on gourmet food. It just doesn’t seem fair. We’ve recently been following and contributing to Save the Children. Here’s the link.
About the food, we’ve been grilling at the Burlington Farmer’s Market on Saturdays. Breakfast gorditas have been a huge hit and we will be adding lunch gorditas starting this weekend. Last Saturday I gave a chicken and some tomatoes to our friend Serchan. His family makes some of the best vegetarian food at the market. They’ve been our neighbors there for five years. They make the best potato salad we’ve ever tasted (lots of garlic, cilantro, and an incredible sesame dressing). After some customary haggling (Nepalese style), it was decided that he would cook the chicken and a chutney, we would split it 50/50. Last night we had one amazing dinner thanks to this deal. As a bonus they threw in some creamy rice pudding flavored with cardamom, which is farmer Will’s favorite.
Last Sunday evening, we attended the Vermont Fresh Network’s annual forum and fund raiser. We were partnered with Blue Bird Tavern and Healthy Living Market. Michael and Sue from Blue Bird served hard boiled eggs, with house made chicken sausage on freshly baked shortbread crackers. Frank from Healthy Living prepared one of our suckling pigs. On the side they had a cucumber salad and cherry tomato salad from the farm. We were very proud, and after sampling all the other offerings, very, very full. It was a great night and we had a nice mention in the Burlington Free Press.
Since we’ve started delivering to the Boston area, many new eating opportunities have presented themselves. On a typical run South, we will stop at Red Hen Bakery for a cheddar and bacon scone. Tewksbury, Mass is an unlikely stop for the best Schezuan food we’ve ever had, but Top Garden is indeed the tops. One of our delivery stops is Formaggio in Cambridge and they always insist we eat for free. The duck breast panini we had two weeks ago was amazing. After our CSA at Harvest Coop, we’ve been known to hop on the T and head over to Island Creek Oyster Bar, for clams, oysters and lobster rolls. Highly recommended, but it makes for a groggy trip home.