By Kristie Snyder,
An early May visit to Remembrance Farm was a reminder of just how abundant the Finger Lakes region can be — already, an absurd amount of fresh greens were nearly ready for harvest. Rows upon rows of tiny onion seedlings had just sprouted out of the soil, and empty rows awaiting planting stretched into the distance. Then we visited the chickens. As we stepped over the fence into their field, a river of golden-brown hens surrounded us, hoping we had brought them something good to eat.
Nathaniel and Emily Thompson have been running Remembrance Farm for ten years, seven in its current location near Trumansburg, and three years prior to that in Danby. The current farm is made up of both owned and leased land, which totals about 100 tillable acres.
Like many farms in the area, Remembrance's products are certified organic, but the farm is unique in being the only certified biodynamic farm in the area. Based on principles established by Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner (also the father of Waldorf education), biodynamic farming regards growing food as a holistic venture, and its products are designed to support both physical and spiritual health. As Nathaniel explains it, the three core principles of biodynamic farming are a vision of the farm as an organism, the use of biodynamic preparations, and the intention of the farmer regarding the farm.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
— Groucho Marx
By Joe Romano,
For years now we have seen futuristic kitchens of all description — "smart kitchens," with appliances that can be controlled with our phones, hidden kitchens that disappear like a Murphy bed, minimalist kitchens, outdoor kitchens, automated kitchens, and even kitchens made of recycled paper.
These are modern cookzones equipped with computers, lasers, glass cooktops, induction plates, invisible burners, automated stirrers, turbo ovens, vaporizers, heating spoons, flash freezers, extruders, ozonizers, ultraviolet ray lamps, electrolyzers, colloidal mills, autoclaves, dialyzers, stills, and of course, half of them will talk to you.
Traditional housewares have been replaced with digital readout measuring cups, rollup toasters, musical salt shakers, and milk jugs that can call you to tell you that the milk has gone bad.
The Qumi, a cooking device shaped like a crystal ball, can be used for heating, frying, and steaming and can only be controlled through your mobile device. I'd keep my eye on that one.
By Kristie Snyder,
Ellen Brown is a farmer with no farmland. She grows her crops in the downstairs kitchen and backyard of her split-level house on Snyder Hill Road.
Ellen is a sprout farmer. Her crops are small — sometimes tiny — but they pack a nutritional punch. Sprouting is simply the process of germinating seeds, and then maybe letting them grow a little bit. "Sprouting makes more nutrition available," Ellen explains. "Nutrients become more absorbable, and the taste of sprouts is great." According to Ellen, sprouts are high in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and phytochemicals.
Her "sprout kitchen" is a light-filled room in the downstairs of the home she shares with her partner, Mat, and 10-month-old son, Jacob. Jars of sprouts line one wall and flats of sprouts line another. In between are a table for packing and a spot for Jacob to play while his mom tends to the sprouts. When the weather warms a bit, the sprouts will move to a backyard hoophouse, or even just outdoors, but when we visited in March it was frigid outside, and the little plants were snug in their kitchen.
Ellen began growing sprouts about four years ago after trying out market gardening and deciding she preferred the mobility of sprouts. "It's a moveable garden," she says. "You don't need to own a large piece of farmland to be a part of the local food community."
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New in Produce
|Grow Your Own - Seedlings Are Coming!|
Yearning for green? Look for Blue Heron seedlings to arrive mid-month! Get your garden off to a great organic start.
This month is statistically characterized by rapidly rising temperatures, from the 40s into the 60s, and I will not argue against that! Ladies and gentlemen, dogs and cats, yeti and sasquatch, Jedi and Sith — welcome to April. Bear with us for the return of local abundance as farms thaw and begin to grow. Remembrance Farm still has carrots, purple-top turnips, and parsnips, if their supply holds out. The biggest rejoicing should come from this next tidbit of information: Blue Heron seedlings. That's right, Blue Heron Farm's perennial and annual plants will be available by mid-April. Ever thought about growing tomatoes, basil, peppers, flowers, cucumbers, squash, strawberries, asparagus, and many more amazing types of vegetation? Then pick up some Blue Heron plants, or start from scratch with local, organic Fruition Seeds, organic High Mowing, or organic Hudson Valley seeds in our organic potting soil and growing mix. Spring is here!