So, we'll be focusing on plants and cut flowers as our marketable items in 2011. Many of my customers are disappointed, asking, where are the vegetables? Well, the second part of my gardening plan for this year is vegetables, only it's vegetables for us. For our family and for barter. You see, in the past years of market farming, family dinners sometimes go to the wayside during the months of May through October. Just too busy farming to utilize all the fantastic food that is all around us. And then when it comes to October, I find myself too overworked and exhausted to muster the energy to dig, can, freeze, and dry the bounty that could carry us through winter. Yes, we always do some, but in 2011, my goal is to put up enough to last all winter. This will entail building a proper root cellar in our basement and planning a family vegetable garden just for us. I'm excited to start this venture for it is a vital part of living sustainably and also for my goal in 2011: to enjoy.
If you too are interested in sustainable farming and squirrelling away food for the winter, I highly recommend the book pictured above, The Joy of Keeping a Root Cellar by Jennifer Megyesi. Filled with gorgeous pictures of their Vermont farm and neighboring farms, the author weaves quotes, history and personal experiences into a book that is one of the most informative I have read in a long while. She highlights root cellar construction and then moves on to how to's on canning, freezing, drying, smoking and preserving the harvest. And it's not just veggies, either.
One other book I'd like to mention is 'The Dirty Life' by Kristin Kimball. This is a real life story of city slicker turned farmer and farmer's wife. She and her husband move to Northern New York (Adirondacks!) and start a 100 member CSA that runs year round and provides a full diet for it's members. Just writing that sentence makes me tired. A FULL diet. Milk, meat, veggies, eggs, maple syrup, grains, beans. On one farm. Something to aspire to! For now, I'll aim to do it for one family.
Check out these great books, y'all!
And Happy New Year!