Famous Radishes and Catching Up

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The snow has melted and we are flying into spring with lots of seeds to plant and changes underway. If you did not see it already, our farm was featured in a Jewish farmer story in the Washington Post food section.  This was very exciting for lots of reasons. First, Susan Borocas the writer wound up interviewing two of my farming mentors for the story including the farmer from the very first farm I interned on when I was in college.  Second, they used several of my photos and a recipe.  And finally, they even tested my recipe and dressed …

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Rosh Hashanah and the Bees

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Well my tech free summer is over so I hope to return to this blog and I hope some of my readers are still with me. We are harvesting winter squash and fall greens and getting ready to celebrate Rosh Hashanah. I want to share a new piece I have up on Jewish Food Experience about apples, honey and pollination. I learned so much writing this piece and now I want to go out and learn about the hundreds (thousands?) of different pollinators that fly through our farm during the season. The photograph above is a wild bee on a …

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A Toast to Spring on the Farm

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I have a new piece up today over at Jewish Food Experience, a new online Jewish Food magazine based in DC with lots of great material and recipes. I will contribute one piece a month to the site related to farm life and food. You can jump over to read my first piece about chia seeds, frog eggs and vernal pools  which includes my first attempt at a cocktail recipe. Here is an image of our baby fig trees wrapped up for winter that our children thought was a Halloween display we made and forgot to tell them about. We …

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Article in Acres USA this Month

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I had an article published in the fabulous Acres USA magazine this month about our SARE funded project to make dehydrated vegetables like kale chips on our farm. Acres is a great magazine for ecological and sustainable farming ideas of all kinds and it has been in print for the past 40 years! We still have one more  year to work on the grant and get our new products ready for market.   I plan to write more about what happens with the dryer this coming season and post some recipe ideas. Here is a link to a my article in …

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Farmers Dream in Winter

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During the spring, summer and fall farm seasons it is easy for farmers to lose touch with one another. Everyone get really busy and conversations tend to be focused on immediate needs like engines failing, extreme weather forecasts or what local chefs need now. Winter is when farmers have time to plan, think, dream and socialize. Many of us are ordering seeds, planning upcoming seasons, adjusting websites and doing bigger picture thinking and planning. Winter is also the most popular time for farmers to get together for meetings. Maryland farmers gathered for two important meetings this past month, the Future …

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Note to a Young Jewish Farmers by Scott Hertzberg

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I am very inspired by the budding Jewish intentional communities movement. As someone who has farmed for more than a decade and thought a lot about past Jewish farming communities in America and how to build ones today, I’d like to share some thoughts on developing communities based around agriculture. My first suggestion, which has been made by others, is to stay close to the city, even right in a city.  Jewish farming communities in the past near metropolitan areas thrived for a generation or more (Petaluma CA; Farmingdale; NJ Lebanon CT area, among other places), while those far out …

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Turkey in Disguise

When I was in middle school, there was a group of farm kids who wore letterman jackets with the word “Farmer” on the back instead of “Football”.  I remember them all leaning against the brick building at recess in their matching jackets looking intimidating. They were all boys. I thought the farm kids were a little scary, tough, and course.  In hindsight I cheer for these kids, proud to grow up on farms way back in the 80’s long before farmer was equated with hipster or anything remotely cool. But at the time, I had nothing to do with the …

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Welcome to Our Winter Flophouse

The rushed Jewish holidays and fall chill make this November feel much more like December.  For anyone who has missed the excitement, the first night of Chanukah is the same as thanksgiving this year. It will not happen again for about seventy thousand years, so there has been lots of hype and strange recipes floating around. Hard frosts have made instant memories out of so many plants, cosmos and basil, tomatoes, eggplants and peppers. We are still pulling off the last tomatoes (from another hoophouse), but they are mealy and sad now. But look, hope grows in our new hoophouse …

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Fear the Turtle: FDA’s One Sided Food Safety Regulations

The FDA is accepting public comments through November 15th on a draft set of regulations based on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Shining a spotlight on food safety is a great idea and something that consumer advocates have been working toward for a long time. Clearly there are safety problems with our nation’s food system, and we have seen what happens when unsafe food gets into the marketplace. Unfortunately, the draft rules have some real problems and could undermine small vegetable farms like my own. Please take action by hopping over to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s website where …

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The Dryer Diaries

I know this blog has been on the very, very quiet side lately.  Sort of taking an unintended sabbatical, even though hundreds of little ideas keep jumping into my head to write about.  No promises on doing better since I will be away from a computer a bit this summer, but there is always hope! On the farm, I am pretty giddy to have my very own project. Sort of like a room of my own within the larger farm operation.  For a little history, my husband and I started out farming as equal partners. But after children, I pretty …

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