By Kristie Snyder,
Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses!
—James Oppenheim, from a 1911 poem supporting a Lawrence, Massachusetts textile worker’s strike
The workers that James Oppenheim’s poem paid tribute to were mostly immigrant women, who fed their families mainly—and meagerly—on a diet of bread. They were striking, ultimately unsuccessfully, against a pay cut. Starving was a very real threat; presumably they were less worried about their hearts. But the “bread and roses” quote endures—a testament to the power that the beauty of flowers holds.
Today, it’s South American flower workers, most of whom are also women, who might well be seeking “bread and roses.” Amy Garbincus, a flower and vegetable farmer at Three Sisters Farm and GreenStar Wellness staffer, says she is often asked, “Who cares if flowers are organic?”
By Stephanie Van Parys
Summer is only four months away, so it’s not too early to think of your summer garden. After making a list of what veggies you want to grow next summer, the next step is to figure out what you can start early by growing seedlings. Let me give you a few reasons why it’s worth the effort to grow your own vegetable starts:
You control the varieties and quality of the transplants going into your garden based on your own selections, not what the local garden center has available;
- You control the timing of when you want to plant your garden;
- More plants for less money;
- Preservation of heirloom and rare varieties;
By Robin Ostfeld,
Blue Heron Farm
Seasonal changes affect us more than we think. As the days get shorter, leaves fall to the ground, squirrels gather their winter caches of food, and humans feel the urge to fatten up and put food away for the winter. It’s a lot like getting a supply of firewood to ward off the cold and snow. There’s a unique satisfaction in preparing for winter.
In November, other farms are wrapping up the season, while we at Blue Heron are running at full tilt. My phone rings off the hook and my email in-box fills up with inquiries about our winter produce subscription. It’s cold and muddy as we sprint toward the finish line, which for us is frozen ground and temps in the 20s. Our crop availability list is longer than ever. When we’re not picking hardy greens, such as collards, kale, spinach and arugula we’re cutting broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Leeks are shoveled up and trimmed. And then there are the root vegetables, from beets and carrots to rutabagas and turnips. Days on end are spent pulling and topping vegetables, and filling the walk-in coolers.
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New in Produce
|Thanks, Life is Good|
Giving thanks doesn't end in November. The local bounty continues with root veggies, apples, cider, and trees.
This month I intended loquacious prose built upon the ever-busy world, intertwined with our local experience of cold, winter, snow, and beauty, but it just didn't sit. It seems like every month in this space I ask that we enjoy and respect our liberties and freedoms, spiritual, emotional, physical, or otherwise. It doesn't change from month to month or even day to day — every minute, every second is important to look upon and be thankful for and reflect and exist in. During the holiday months, it's especially important to realize how we act and who we are, because the consumption of product can be blinding and unrelenting. I'm thankful for this region, its people, its farms, and our Co-op: this month that means Remembrance Farm's rainbow carrots, Stick and Stone's mixed root vegetables, The Good Life Farm's bagged mixed winter greens, Black Diamond's brilliant heirloom apples, and Littletree's delicious cider. And, holiday trees! I am thankful.