Farm tales... or tails...

June 28, 2011

Everyone has an extra special place in their life, somewhere they are likely to be found when nowhere in sight in their house. For some it may be their garage, where they can tinker in peace on an old car or it may be the local coffee shop, where they can read without being disturbed.

Picture by Paul Cary Goldberg, Green Meadows Website

For me, when not at the beach with my dog, I might just be at the farm. I guess you can take a girl out of the farm, but you can never take the farm out of the girl!
I own a share at a local organic farm, also called a CSA, community supported agriculture.

What it means is simply that I support local farming by paying in January for a share of their production. In return, I get vegetables and fruit from June to the end of October, every week. In other words, I put my money where my mouth is…investing early in the year and hoping for a good harvest. I have never been disappointed!

Rain was falling very hard last week when I was supposed to harvest my share of strawberries, so I went happily back this morning. The fields were peaceful, the only sound in the distance came from  the bleating sheep and a duck or two calling to each other across the pond.

I went to work, going from row to row, to fill my basket. Otis, the farm dog, even came by to pay me a visit and get a pat on the head.
I gathered my strawberries and realized I had been there for about 30 minutes, although it felt like 5….
There is nothing quite like the feeling of harvesting your own food, whether on a farm or in your own garden.
That connection to the soil is something that cannot be readily explained, it has to be experienced.
As I wandered back towards the farm buildings and my car, farmer Andrew came by and asked about the strawberries. We chatted for a few minutes and I went on my way.
I really love the fact that I can put a face and a name to the person who grows our food. I definitely do not get that feeling when buying tomatoes at Stop and Shop!

So, if you are lucky enough to be within driving distance, take a little road trip to Hamilton and go say hello to Andrew and his crew at Green Meadows farm.  (http://www.gmfarm.com)
Bring your kids to farm school, go feed the pigs or just walk around and enjoy the scenery.  We need to raise future generations of children to be aware of where food comes from, how it grows and that yes…animals are killed in order for us to eat meat. It makes it a little more real than the meat on Styrofoam trays at the supermarket.
Farm school should be a required subject every year.

If you are not living in this area, find a local farm, preferably organic. Go and buy some vegetables or fruit, introduce yourself and meet the person responsible for growing the crops.
Then, for the best part of the day, go home and prepare lunch or dinner.
It will taste better than anything you find in a supermarket.
My lunch today: fresh lettuce with a homemade Cesar dressing, a hard boiled farm egg and a large bowl of ripe strawberries, still warm from the sun…I can’t think of anything more delicious! Bon appetit!

It’s your life….Be ALIVE in it!

Christine

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