On Sunday, Fred and Stacia took a group of their CSA members on a tour of the fields and then back to the homestead to see the cows, chickens and turkeys (and nibble on some plums and raspberries as we passed the plum trees and raspberry patch). I learned more about IPM (Integrated Pest Management), how frequently the crops are planted and harvested, how they choose what to include in the CSA shares each week, and that I really do not enjoy the aroma in chicken coops.
On Wednesday I found Farmer Rachel Nevitt of Full Moon Farm in Hinesburg, Vermont, picking cucumbers with her two apprentices. She continued to pick while we talked, taking a 'teaching moment' with the apprentices to describe how to tell when a cucumber is ready to be picked. Her husband, Farmer David Zuckerman, arrived later to pitch in as they went on to harvest beans. Rachel and David are passionate about organic gardening and honoring the land. This is evident in their straight, well-weeded rows of vegetables that managed to look luscious during a particularly long dry spell in Hinesburg. Later that day I went back to Full Moon with my friends and Full Moon CSA members, John and Jean Kiedaisch (and 2 year old grandson Jack, who gleefully sat on tractors while Jean and I were in the barn) to see the pick-up end of the process. In the cool of the barn, members chose from a selection written on a whiteboard. Among the offerings this week were fennel, potatoes, cucumbers, beans, beets, bunching onions and radishes.
David and Rachel are intelligent, thoughtful farmers with big dreams and high expectations. They have set their bar high, and seem to be reaching it. I thank them for their time and generosity-- they are truly awesome.
Cucumbers, beans, cabbage and potatoes were also being harvested here in Connecticut! We also got our first ears of corn, and continue to see kale, kohlrabi and zucchini in our boxes. So, here we go: