Root Cellars and Root Vegetables

  • Post published:December 4, 2015

Our Thanksgiving table will include  root vegetables like Yukon Gold potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, beets, parsnips and carrots. Even the Pilgrims might have had some of these vegetables at the first Thanksgiving. Root vegetables were an important part of the food supply in Europe before canning and freezing were available. Root vegetables were harvested in the fall and stored for winter use without preserving them in some way, like pickling or drying. When I was a child living…

Intervale Center – Still More Projects

  • Post published:November 15, 2014

  My visit with my cousin, Travis Marcotte, at the Intervale Center in Burlington, Vermont stunned me with the varied ways an organization could support farmers, the vitality of their conservation effort, the size of a marketing project like a food hub, and the excitement and involvement of a large community. Last week I described two of the IntervaleCenter’s programs: the Farms Program which allows farmers to lease land and equipment at reasonable rates; and the Success in…

Intervale Center in Burlington Vermont

  • Post published:November 8, 2014

Intervale:   n. Regional. A tract of low-lying land, especially along a river.  The Intervale  Center in Burlington, Vermont has three goals: to enhance the viability of farming; to promote the sustainable use and stewardship of agricultural lands; and to ensure community engagement in the food system. Last weekend my husband and I went to Vermont to visit some of my cousins who grew up on a dairy farm in Charlotte. My father also worked on that 300 acre farm…

CSA – Community Supported Agriculture is for You

  • Post published:April 13, 2014

For some people the initials CSA are just another of those annoying acronyms that can make our conversations sound like an unintelligible inter-office memo. For some CSA means Community Supported Agriculture which encompasses delicious local food, help for the farmer, and a community of like-minded folk who enjoy fresh food, and enjoy knowing they are supporting farmers and farms, and the very land and environment that surrounds us. Small farmers never think they are going to get rich…

Greenfield Winter Fare 2014

  • Post published:January 30, 2014

If I am counting correctly this is the 7th Greenfield Annual Winter Fare which will bring truckloads of fresh local vegetables to Greenfield High School on Saturday, February 1.  Enter from Kent Street off Silver Street. Beyond  vegetables there will be preserved products like pickles and syrup, honey and jams. Frozen meat!  And to keep you shopping from 10 am til 1 pm music will be provided by Last Night's Fun, and soup provided by The Brass Buckle,…

Jessica Van Steensberg – Howdy Neighbor!

  • Post published:November 29, 2013

  Last month when I went to visit Shelly Beck at the Greenfield Community Farm I learned that a new Heath neighbor of mine, Jessica Van Steensberg, is the Associate Director. I immediately had to meet her. I found her at the house on a three acre plot she bought with her husband Jeff Aho and moved into two years ago. Behind the house I saw hens free ranging everywhere, a big hog in a pen and a…

A is for Apple – A to Z Blogger Challenge

  • Post published:April 1, 2013

A is for Apple and I found 36 varieties of Apples with names that begin with A right here.  I've known about the Arkansas Black and the Arlington Pippin but that was the end of it for me. But there is also the Ambrosia apple, a modern Canadian apple similar to the Golden Pelicious, the American Summer Pearmain Apple, very juicy, the Autumn Gold apple, better than Golden Delicious and obvously, many many more! I became interested in old apple…

Bringing Nature Home at the Master Gardener’s Spring Symposium

  • Post published:March 30, 2013

Dr. Douglas Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens, was the keynote speaker at the Western Massachusetts Master Gardeners Spring Symposium last week. His talk focused on the need for more insects to make our gardens – and the world – healthier and more ecologically balanced. “A mere 1 % [of all insects] interact with humans in negative ways. The other 99 % pollinate plants, return the nutrients tied up in…

Winterfare, Winter Farmer’s Markets, Good Food

  • Post published:February 17, 2013

I just attended my sixth Winterfare ! got to do my small part, giving a talk about the basics of extending the growing season, but mostly I just enjoyed the crowds, visiting with people I haven’t seen in a while and marveling at all the fresh produce that is available in February in Franklin County. Of course I shopped, too. Carrots, onions, salad greens, apples and salad toppers, a flat of arugula that I can snip over the…

Eli Rogosa and the Heritage Wheat Conservancy

  • Post published:July 28, 2012

“O beautiful, for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain . . .” These words, written by Katherine Lee Bates in 1895 capture an image of our country that we still treasure today. However, there are differences between 1895 and 2012. The tall waving wheats that gilded our midwest in 1895 are now only a foot tall, barely shuddering in the breeze.. The early 1940s saw the beginning of the Green Revolution, an agricultural shift that used technological…