Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It all Starts with a Seed and a Dream

At our CSA, we have a Core Group that works collaboratively with our Humble Farmer to make decisions about the farm. Aside from Farmer Brian, the group is comprised of, you guessed it, the faithful Farmer Babe and two other key individuals (who, for now, shall remain nameless ;-)) that work with our Humble Farmer to ensure the mission of the CSA, manage the daily operations of the farm, and work to build our CSA member family. Recently, the four of us got together to discuss what we're planting in the upcoming growing season. So far, our planting list is as follows:

  • Arugula, Apollo
  • Bean, Fin de Bagnol
  • Bean, Provider
  • Bean, Pencil Pod Wax
  • Beet, Bull's Blood
  • Broccoli, DeCicco
  • Cabbage, Mammoth Red
  • Cabbage, Early Jersey Wheatfield
  • Carrots, Dragon
  • Carrots, St. Valery
  • Corn, Tom Thumb Popcorn
  • Cucumber, Mexican Sour Gherkin
  • Cucumber, Early Fortune
  • Eggplant, Florida High Bush
  • Gourd, Birdhouse
  • Kale, Dwarf Blue Curled
  • Leek, Blue Solaize
  • Lettuce, Reine des Glaces
  • Lettuce, Rouge D'Hiver
  • Lettuce, Crisp Mint
  • Onions, Ailsa Craig
  • Onions, Yellow of Parma
  • Peas, Amish Snap
  • Pepper, Hot Portugal
  • Pepper, Wisconsin Lakes
  • Potato, Chieftain (Red)
  • Potato, Kennebec
  • Radish, French Breakfast
  • Spinach, America
  • Squash, Waltham Butternut
  • Squash, Black Bounty Zucchini
  • Squash, Golden Zucchini
  • Swiss Chard, Fordhook Giant
  • Tomato, Amish Paste
  • Tomato, Black Krim
  • Tomato, Italian Heirloom
  • Turnips, Purple Top White
Plus Kohlrabi (as our Humble Farmer LOVES Kohlrabi...), and perhaps Fennel (as his Farmer Babe loves Fennel as much as Humble Farmer loves his Kohlrabi). So that's thirty-nine varieties of Heirloom veggies that we'll be growing this year...not counting the herb and flower garden project that the faithful Farmer Babe and her associates are planning.

Some of our choices may sound rather new or interesting to you. "What," you may ask, "is Tom Thumb popcorn?" Well, it's a dwarf variety of corn that produces these very small (3-4 inch long) ears of corn that, you guessed it, is a popping corn. In fact, when the moisture content of the ears is right (around 13%), you can put an ear into a small paper lunch bag with just a bit of oil or butter and pop it in the microwave. Voila! Popcorn that is not rife with chemicals, grown locally and naturally, and is amazingly delicious (is it obvious that Farmer Babe is a popcorn enthusiast? LOL).

So, why do we grow only Heirloom vegetables? Heirloom varieties are increasingly becoming more common in modern organic gardening...they harken back to more traditional times before agriculture was so industrialized. So much of the produce that is produced conventionally is genetically qualify as "Heirloom", a variety must be open-pollinated and therefore strictly non-GMO (not a genetically modified organism). There is a great deal of controversy surrounding the safety of GMO foods (it's a hotly contested debate, to say the least). Here at Hand in Hand, our beliefs are simple. Choosing to practice organic growing methods only to produce genetically modified produce makes no sense to us. So we only grow heirloom varieties, in keeping with our natural, reverent practices. We strive to produce the most healthy, delicious food for you, our CSA members, so that you are serving the most healthy delicious food to your family. Because in the end, that's what it's really all about. We grow, so that your family grows. Our natural practices and heirloom choices are all about you---you are why we are here, and why we continue to do what we do.

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