The Sukkah Scenario – a guest post

By Scott Hertzberg, (otherwise known as my awesome husband), and originally posted on his blog the Jewish Farmer Farming continues to attract surprising numbers of young Jewish Americans. Frequently I see articles in the Forward or elsewhere about a recent college grade deciding to take a big turn on to an agricultural path.  Some seem to be making the shift with ease.  For others being attracted to farming leaves them torn in some major ways. Most Jews I’ve come across who are interested in farming seem conflicted between a desire to live both in the city and the country.  The …

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Cosmos, Okra and More – an Eclectic Harvest

Even though it is the first night of Sukkot and it is raining (again!), I promise not to complain about the weather.  Maybe it will magically clear up in time for dinner tonight.  Either way,  we have some amazing foods to eat from the farm tonight.  We raise  shitake mushrooms on the farm and today a pile appeared on my kitchen counter when my husband dashed through the house between farm tasks.   Shitake mushrooms are always a huge treat both because they are delicious and because they are always a surprise. Unlike the vegetable crops, they do not really have …

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And Now For A Little More Rain

I am one of those people who questions conventional wisdom, and sometimes that means stumbling on clichés and common knowledge the hard way. It took working two jobs with a long commute to start to understand why Shabbat matters. It took my short but intense flirtation with homeschooling to start to appreciate public school. And this year, I think I am developing a new appreciation of Rosh Hashanah and why we need it so badly. Rosh Hashanah has come and gone and it is still raining, not constantly, but at least a little bit every day. The rain is falling …

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Rosh Hashana’s Perfect Timing

honey from Israel The Jewish Holidays bounce around the calendar quite a bit and some years I join the chorus complaining that they came too soon, when we are still in summer mode and just not ready.  But this year Rosh Hashana seems to have perfect timing. The holiday starts tomorrow evening, less than a week after the official start of fall.  We just finished packing our largest set of orders for Israeli Harvest, our small business that supports Israeli farmers.   On the farm, our fall crops are starting to look stronger and we have already had a few cold …

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Rain, Floods and Standing Water

Finally, we are getting a chance to dry out after the flooding rains soaked our basement, flooded some of our fields and even toppled a few of our young apple trees whose roots had nothing firm to hold. Our problems were tiny relative to others nearby who lost their homes and businesses — but still, it has not been an easy week. The rains on Thursday were so powerful that water started to pool near the foundation of our house, nearby rivers overflowed their banks and we were stunned by the photos of flooded homes and shops in our town …

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September at Farmers Market

If you haven’t already been shopping at your local farmers market, now is the time to jump in before it is too late.  In most areas, the choice and abundance is reaching a peak by Labor Day, with the summer crops coming in strong (you will find tomatoes at nearly every farmers market in the country now) and the fall crops starting to make an appearance.   This summer, I am spending time off the farm at my family’s summer place near Lake George.   I was thrilled to find a new farmer’s market in town that is drawing growers from around …

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Jewish Farming Article in Tablet Magazine

A few weeks ago, I was happy to speak to the food writer Leah Koenig who I met years ago at a Hazon event in Washington.  She was writing an article about the history of Jewish farming in America and we talked about my family farm and my father’s cousin’s chicken farm in New Jersey.   She did a great job on the story so I thought I would share a link to the story here. Also, I have been off line for most of the summer but I have been writing and will add some posts when I get back to my home …

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Summer Wish List

Amy from the great Jewish Parenting blog Homeshuling created a summer wish list and invited other Jewish mama bloggers to join her. I am happy to participate, so here is mine.     1) Spend plenty of time hanging out with my extended family by Lake George  2) chase fire flies with the children and show them the night sky 3) swim a lot and generally perfect my beach momma routine (i.e. have the sunblock, sandals, towels, lunch & drinks ready and waiting)  2) teach my 4 year old to swim..or at least get a lot more comfortable in the water  3) teach my …

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tomato time

We try to eat at least somewhat seasonally in our house, switching from fresh vegetables to frozen in the winter and following the fruit that is coming from Florida rather than  further afield.  Most of the year I skip over my fresh produce section in the store because there is minimal organic and we either have fresh vegetables from the farm or are working through our frozen stash. Of course, I make exceptions but it always feels particularly strange and a little like a betrayal to buy tomatoes from someone else’s farm, especially from an anonymous supermarket source . Plus, …

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When life gives you organic lemons….

I am one of those disadvantaged natural food shoppers who lives many miles from a local health food store,  Wholefoods, Trader Joes or the like.  And since I refuse to negate the environmental benefits of shopping at these places by driving nearly 100 miles round trip, I make do at my local store. Since I live on an organic farm, this is usually not a hardship.  But there are certain things I miss.  So when my friend called me yesterday from Whole Foods where she was stopping in Silver Spring on her way to visit me and asked if I wanted anything — I was sort of speechless for a second. I …

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