Introducing the Perfect Flower

So it turns out we have been growing flowers for ten years now and that is a while.  We have raised lilies, glads, snapdragons, asters and all manner of zinnias and sunflowers. We have learned about selling to florists, wholesalers and farmer’s market customers.  We have brought flowers to weddings and parties and some of our flowers have even found their way to the White House. We have dried them, made wreaths and filled our dining room table countless times with abundant bunches.  But I feel like the super simple blue cornflower on the long delicate stem is the best …

Continue reading

Shabbat and Farming Piece

Those of us in in the mid-Atlantic are hopeful that tonight will bring our first real snowstorm of the winter.  We need the moisture and I am ready for a nice mid-week snow day. Maybe it will give me a chance for a real post tomorrow if we don’t lose power. In the meantime, I want to share an article I have up on Huffington Post Religion today about the challenges of trying to do better at observing Shabbat beyond Friday night during the farm season.  Please jump over there to read it and feel free to leave a comment …

Continue reading

Check out Food Politic – A Newborn Journal

Since I seem to be becoming a regular on Twitter (follow me @thelettuceedge)  I am finding out about millions of great things that are happening in the world.  I think that is where I learned about a new online journal called “Food Politic”.  They are up and running and the site looks really great.  So, check them out in general, support them if you like and read my new article about why the farm bill was such a disappointment which was posted there today.  You might recognize the photo. And, I am so pleased that the Huffington Post decided to …

Continue reading

Chickweed and my Jewish Farming Retreat

Last weekend my family attended this amazing retreat in Baltimore, the Beit Midrash at the Pearlstone Center.  You can read my article about the retreat in the Jewish Daily Forward here. I absolutely love pluralistic Jewish events, especially when we get to talk about farming.  I have been thinking a lot more about the idea of shmitta, the once in every 7 year sabbatical from farming and I am sure I will be writing more about that soon. One very compelling piece of shmitta is the idea that if you had to feed your family without any farming, you would …

Continue reading

Hoop Dreams

So, we seem to always be building or rebuilding a new hoophouse around here.  And with each one, we pin our new hopes for an amazing farm year.   I remember talking to one of the Mennonite farmers we work with one winter day when he was finishing a new hoophouse.  He said, “I had a dream that the house was filled with cucumbers strung all the way up to the roof, and I just walked through with the children picking and eating them.”  Sweet dream. One of our other houses has the plastic removed because it is time to replace …

Continue reading

It is time to Comment on New Farm Safety Regs

A Guest Post by Michael Tabor, Maryland based farmer and activist.  Note from Tanya: Michael Tabor is  a great friend and one of my mentors in the farming world.  He runs a mixed vegetable farm and is always engaged in making the world a better place.  This piece responds to proposed regulations that could have far reaching impacts on all, sustainable and organic farms nationwide. Mike will be on a panel about this issue at the upcoming Maryland Food and Farmers Association Meeting. For those of us in the sustainable farm community, we are at the crossroads and the clock …

Continue reading

The Fiscal Cliff and the Little Farmer

The following is a piece I wrote for my the Maryland Organic Food and Farming newsletter.(MOFFA).  If you live in DC or MD, come to our winter meeting (the 22nd annual!): details below. At the very end of the year, in the midst of fiscal cliff madness, Congress passed a controversial farm bill extension. Maybe you saw headlines like this one from the the Center for Food Safety, “Congress Passes Damaging Farm Bill Extension in “Fiscal Cliff” Package”. The extension of the farm bill contained many disappointments and has left the sustainable and organic agriculture community with lots of work …

Continue reading

Deer Were Here – Winter Farm Walk

This is how deer eat turnips around here in the winter time.  First they browse off the greens and than they go after the turnips themselves while they are still in the ground.  They are sloppy and disorganized about it, like a toddler learning to eat an apple.  They manage to get at least one bite from each, usually more. The deer pressure is on the upswing around here.  They are abundant and hungry.  Signs of them are everywhere, deep hoof prints in the mud, spicy winter greens munched down to the nubs and now they are going after half …

Continue reading

Hurricanes, Elections and Croup (oh my!)

I want so much to make this little blog shine but I seem to be stumbling and falling over dozens of distractions and writing hurdles, large and small.  I will have to develop new strategies to keep writing even when it gets hard.  No need to leap hurdles gracefully when there are ways to crawl underneath, sneak around, or knock them down. Here are 7 reasons my blog has been so quiet this fall: 1) We all had colds by many names: croup, regular colds, bronchitis, possible sinus infections. I lost lots and lots of sleep and spent what would …

Continue reading

2012 Season in Review

By Jug Bay Market Garden’s Farmer in Chief,  Scott Hertzberg This season was shaped by global warming more than any previous year.  We have never started the CSA so early. Prior seasons, we started in mid-May but this year we started in mid-April. Because the heat did not really kick in until late June, we were able to provide the CSA with weeks of spring crops.  We broke a record for how many straight weeks of head lettuce we harvested (8) and grew some of our best radishes, onions and potatoes. While climate change helped us have an extended spring, …

Continue reading