The Real Cost of Food

Do you ever think growing food is as easy as planting some seeds or taking a cow to the butcher? We’re talking REAL food – not Industrial Agriculture or CAFO operations.  Our government, in their infinite wisdom, has subsidized those horrific and unsustainable large operations to the extent that folks don’t know what they’re eating or how much it costs to produce that food. The hidden costs to cheap food are enormous and well worth considering when you decide how you will feed yourself or your loved ones.

No, we’re talking about food that’s grown locally by farmers in your own community – farms you can visit, farmers you can talk to about their practices, and ultimately food you can trust. The costs to produce REAL food are also enormous. Less fossil and chemical inputs generally mean more hand labor and more care for crops and animals. But ultimately, the end result is fresher and more nutritious with a denser wallop of nutrients.

As consumers we all decide where our dollars go and who we support. The more we all understand the connection of family farms to healthy communities the better off we will all be.

People don’t come out to our farm on Thursday afternoons to get cheap food. They come because the food is absolutely fresh and of the highest quality. They come to make a connection with the farm that grows their food. They come to support the farm which in turn ensures some food security at the local level. And they come because it’s fun!

August 12 Patch

We’re Growing

Family farms are making a comeback! And why not? The number of young people wanting to get involved with sustainable food production is growing – even while the numbers suggest they can’t make a decent living farming. It may be the definition of “decent living” is changing as well…

Our experience with this new generation has been that priorities are changing – many no longer value expensive cars or toys (cell phones being the exception!), fancy apartments or fancy clothes. Quality food free from chemicals, quality time (dancing) with friends, meaningful work, smaller footprints – these are the values we are seeing repeatedly – especially in Vermont.

We feel so blessed to have not one, but two daughters that want the quality of life that farming offers. Our farm is small but there is plenty to do for everyone.

While our daughter Hannah waits for her sister Fae to finish college so they can go WWOOF across Europe, she has agreed to spend a year on our farm growing and managing our vegetable enterprise. Did I mention she has a few things she can teach us? Hannah has completed farm apprenticeships at both Caretaker Farm and Sisters Hill Farm so she comes well prepared to grow high quality vegetables, and plenty of them.

And who knows, Fae may also decide to join us at some point.  After all, she did spend the last two summers working at Full Moon Farm.

It’s all about the farm and food experience and we’re happy to share with everybody!

HannahFae

 

Starting Seeds

Have you started your onions yet? While some farms are burning tons of propane trying to get the first tomatoes we’re pretty happy to have the first onions and burn…well, nothing except some wood to keep things warm during germination. These purple pearl onions are a staple from mid-June until the “big boys” are ready later in the season. The first ones harvested are perfect for threading on skewers with other small things. After a few weeks they’re big enough to handle other recipes and the tops are always a bonus. IMG_2320 (2)

Our delicious heirloom tomatoes show up when it’s time and once they start they never stop until we pull them. In the meantime, we’ll put our early energy resources on these little onions that taste like spring all summer long.

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Oh, BTW, we started ours. High fives all around!

Week Four Thanksgiving Share

Shares went out a day early this week and everyone remembered to pick-up! Nor’easter? Not a problem. If CSA members are forced to stay home they still have the makings of a feast!

Tomato Soup with Beans and Swiss Chard

Tomato Soup with Beans and Swiss Chard

 

Brussels Sprouts

 

Black Futsu Squash cooked, pureed and frozen

Black Futsu Squash cooked, pureed and frozen

Thanksgiving Share Prepared Soup, Cooked Squash, Cooked Pie Pumpkin, Frozen Sweet Corn, Romaine Lettuce, Spinach, Celery, Onions, Garlic, Sweet Potatoes, Red Potatoes, Kohlrabi, Brussels Sprouts

Thanksgiving Share
Prepared Soup, Cooked Squash, Cooked Pie Pumpkin, Frozen Sweet Corn, Romaine Lettuce, Spinach, Celery, Onions, Garlic, Sweet Potatoes, Red Potatoes, Kohlrabi, Brussels Sprouts

We hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday and please, keep the shopping to a minimum.

 

 

 

Week Three Farm Share

Time flies when you’re having fun! And that is exactly what is happening with The Two Farms Winter CSA. This week we focused on Mediterranean cuisine with a delicious vegetable stew with a dollop of French Rouille – how utterly too too!

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Follow that with a bag loaded with goodies – large heads of Tokyo Bekana (not Mediterranean but what the heck), Romaine Lettuce, Spinach, Dill, Parsley, Basil, Bulb Fennel, Carrots, Potatoes, Sweet Dumpling Squash, Leeks, Garlic, Pea Shoots and some lovely prepared Baba Ganoush made over the summer.

Pea Shoots

Pea Shoots

 

 

 

 

photo 4

Fennel

Spinach

Spinach

Not mere paltry bags these, but heavy loads requiring two hands and possibly an extra set of hands for the weak or impaired.

One can only imagine the newsletter that went out with all of the recipes and other tidbits of info – for instance how to pronounce Rouille…yes one can only imagine…

 

Winter Farm Share Week Two

Gorgeous greens harvest yesterday for Week Two Winter CSA. Besides this Tokyo Bekana and Baby Bok Choy we also gave out a spinach/chard mix, baby greens salad mix, kale, herbs, scallions, broccoli, carrots, potatoes, garlic, kohlrabi, soy beans, fermented cabbage and an Asian inspired dish featuring turnips! No wonder we were tired last night! IMG_2718 (2)

Winter Farm Share Week One

So it may have been 80 degrees and humid yesterday, but for some folks, winter eating has started! Good thing there were plenty of salad fixings in the Share so they can ease into those delicious root crops. And of course the pumpkin will be right there to make everyone feel secure once the fall-like weather returns.

Pie Pumpkins

Pie Pumpkins

It never fails – when Misse and I pack up the Shares we always wish we were getting one as well. Of course we have all of it at our disposal…but there’s just something about having it all boxed up for you just like a great big present that makes you want to smile:)

Week One Share - head lettuce, kale, micro-arugula, parsley, broccoli, sweet potatoes, multi-colored carrots, multi-colored beets, winter radishes, rutabaga (not shown), garlic, pie pumpkin (not shown), onions and a prepared dish of Southwestern Style Spaghetti Squash

Week One Share -
head lettuce, kale, micro-arugula, parsley, broccoli, sweet potatoes, multi-colored carrots, multi-colored beets, winter radishes, rutabaga (not shown), garlic, pie pumpkin (not shown), onions and a prepared dish of Southwestern Style Spaghetti Squash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything in this dish grown on the Two Farms except the spices and cheese - now that is local deliciousness!

Everything in this dish grown on the Two Farms except the spices and cheese – now that is local deliciousness!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now of course these pictures are blurry and rushed but after a long day of packing and delivering I still had places to go and people to meet! More specifically, I had a date with my husband and tickets to see Sir Richard Thompson at the Lebanon Opera House. More than I could have dreamed, it was just the man and his guitar and yes, he sang Dimming of The Day. And Vincent Black Lightening!  And Beeswing! And Wall of Death! And I could go on! Am I dating myself? Who cares! Someone asked if I was Misse’s mother yesterday. We did the math and yes I could be!

And now? Back to the harvest and indeed with a smile on my face!