The tatsoi, vivid and Bok choy, mustard greens, broccoli raab, kale, chard, spinach and lettuces are so lush and colorful… whether you get a chance to pop your heads into the hoop houses or experience them as they show up on our plates. Those of us eating primarily from the farm are admitting to addictive behavior with our favorites of the season… the tokyo bekana Caesar salad, arugula pesto, sautéed mustard greens or the flamboyant spinach in a saag, salad or roulade!
And standing amidst all the growing greens (and purples!) with 18 teachers gathering for their Spring meeting of the Vermont Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, I don’t think I was alone in feeling overwhelmed by the diversity and gregarious growth. While field peas and oat cover crops struggled to gain purchase in the chilly ground outside, the support of some 6 mil plastic stretched over steel, enables spectacular abundance in the hoop houses.
And as much as we enjoy all our guests visiting the farm — from our weekly shoppers to Norwich families to visiting permaculturalists this week from Belgium, we at the farm were especially glad to spend time with this group. The enabling environment of the hoop house seemed to be their metaphor. These 18 teachers (and all those who teach cooking and related subjects) are lynchpins enabling the future of farms and a healthy food system. People who cook whole foods keep local farms alive.
Later we stood together watching while Ramona rolled onto her side, vocalized to her piglets, who in turn ran to her front, one-after-another, giving a quick nose-to-nose check en route to their teat and then nuzzled and probed until satiated by her milk offering. It seemed all of us were once again mesmerized by the universal truths of instinct and nourishment, and reinvigorated with our own upgraded understanding gained in another day of the lifelong learning adventure. And as with all such gatherings of peers and comrades, fueled Popeye-style with greens, it seemed all left with more strength of connection, as well as renewed hope and inspiration.
Meanwhile looking ahead to the warmer days of the growing season ahead, Hop and Darienne shared the honor of employee of the week… Hop for defending young poultry by hunting down a lesser weasel! And Darienne for advancing precocious heirloom tomato starts towards cozying up with those greens in the hoop house. And Uno was lucky enough to have a date with Molly for his annual haircut just in time for summery temps!