Maybe summer isn’t quite here yet but it feels awfully close. All week cars pulling pontoon boats and campers passed the farm. The sun is shining (though not, technically, at the moment) and the temperatures have been in the upper 70s. It’s a great time to be outside.
Our big news from last week is that we are now Certified Organic through Vermont Organic Farmers, LLC (VOF). We received word the day after I wrote that we should be hearing “soon”. We’re incredibly excited!
My “selfie” with our lovely sign from VOF
We are selling Certified Organic ramp leaves at Hunger Mountain Coop in Montpelier; these are the first products of 2014 for us! Ramps, also known as Wild Leeks, are a tasty, fresh allium for the spring. We harvest only the leaves because we want to enjoy the ramp population on our farm for years to come. In Quebec, ramps have been over-harvested, so much so that it is now illegal to gather them for commercial purposes and even the personal forager cannot harvest more than 50 plants per outing. We’ve worked with Hunger Mountain to educate people about ramps, which in our forested, wet region are a common spring product at farmers’ markets and stores. There’s many differing opinions about ramps; some people don’t believe we’re in any danger of over-harvesting while some believe that to sell any form of ramps feeds an unsustainable appetite among consumers. We see a customer desire for this delicious food and would like to shape that desire by drawing attention to harvesting methods. Maybe someone reads about “no-dig” ramps at the coop and then has it in their head to ask some questions the next time they see whole ramp bulbs for sale. This is our hope. We love to eat ramps in omelets or just lightly stir-fried with rice. I can always tell when Justin has been around the ramps because he likes to eat them raw. They are pungent!
For more information on harvesting ramps, check out this interview with Russ Cohen, environmentalist and wild edibles educator.
Justin and I have been busy with what seems like a million on-going projects. The greenhouse is full: every week I write this and yet every week we add more flats of vegetables to it.
This is what Justin sees through his glasses when he opens the greenhouse door!
I have been building tractors for our rabbits for what seems like weeks now. I’ll post later about my on-going project to get our rabbits off of pellets completely and hopefully, eventually, certify our rabbit meat organic. Right now only our produce is certified. More pictures of the tractor when I’ve actually finished it!
Infrastructure Projects are in full-swing:
New hand- and tool-washing station outside the prep area. Still a little work left but there is soap and a nail brush in the bucket and that’s a start!
The location of our new walk-in cooler. What will it look like this time next week?
We are now three weeks away from the opening of our Farmstand. I have never been more thankful that May have five weekends this year. Although we work on the farm all week, we get lots of fantastic help from friends and family on the weekends. As I think about the next item on my list for today, I think about all the great help I’m getting along the way. We have supplies from NH, 5 gal buckets from our neighbor, and lots and lots of encouragement!
I only know there came to me/ A fragrance such as never clings/ To aught save happy living things;/ A sound as of some joyous elf/ Singing sweet songs to please himself,/ And, through and over everything,/ A sense of glad awakening.
“Renascence” Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1917