This month I had the good fortune to join in celebrating the 95th Birthday of an AMAZING man.
As the son of immigrants, Ed was raised in a time when people farmed not because it was cool or trendy - but rather it was a life or death necessity.
I can listen to the stories of his childhood for hours. While he never sugarcoats how hard his parents worked or what it was like not having indoor plumbing or cars or electricity - you can't help but get such a real sense of how important family and neighbors and community were everyday.
As a child Ed's parents (and most of their neighbors) kept a cow who provided their supply of milk (which made their cheese) and a yearly calf to be harvested at Thanksgiving along with a hog or two. Literally the entire neighborhood would band together to make salami, prosciutto and sausage - taking turns at each others house to make sure every family would have enough in their larder to get through the winter. This scene would be repeated when it was time to make the wine as well.
The factory homes his family lived in were built on postage stamp lots, having pasture was unheard of. In the spring a wealthy neighbor would let them walk their cows down the 1/2 mile path twice a day to be staked in their yard as free lawnmowers. All summer long the families would gather the grass left along the side of the road after the town crew came by with the sickle bar cutter and make hay mounds to get their cows through winter. Periodically they would cut branches from the willow trees as supplemental forage for the cows.
The woodstove that burned year-round simmered the garden scraps and kernels cut from ear corn that his mom would dole out to the hogs. Ed swears his mother had a sixth sense and could pick out the chicken hadn't laid an egg that week - which put the hen on the block for Sunday dinner.
Hearing his stories of community makes me long even more the human connections we took for granted Pre-COVID. I am hopeful that our "New Normal" - whatever that may be - will continue to be a resurrection of supporting our local community and reconnecting to our food as nourishment and sustenance for our family dinners.
When we shut down our online ordering
in May we could never have guessed it would be fall before we felt we had our heads above water again.
Our little farm has been blessed to survive power outages, downed trees, processing delays and heading out every day to the other “Essential” job, but we know we also failed to meet a lot of folk’s expectations. And if you know me, you know that fact pains me…...
We all have enough negativity to deal with so instead we want to SHOUT OUT
our gratitude for our customers and AMAZING Farm Stand Partners.
Barden Farm ~ New Hartford Bristol’s Farm ~ Canton
Davis IGA ~ Kent Essential Health ~ West Hartford
Freund’s Farm & Bakery ~ Canaan Fort Hill Farm ~ New Milford
Holcomb Farm ~ Granby The Hotchkiss School ~ Lakeville
Marblevalley Farm ~ Kent
The last couple of months have reinforced how important it is to shop local and support local or be doomed to depend upon a broken supply chain. We are working hard everyday to provide healthy, family food and look forward to getting up and running again very soon. Thank you for your patience, your support and your friendship!!!!
Due to a processing bottle-neck we have temporarily SHUT DOWN our online ordering.
We expect to be able to offer wholes, halves and quarters of our Grass-fed Angus Beef and Non-GMO, Soy-Free Grain Fed Pasture Pork soon. Shoot us an email to get on that list.
As always - thank you for your continued support of our little farm. We will all get through this together.
Along with the healthy food benefits, cooking at home saves you money and allows you to control your portions. Studies have also shown that getting together for family dinner is associated with lower teen use of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana; lower risk of obesity, eating disorders and teen pregnancy; and improved physical and mental health. Add to that list the nutrient benefits of our cooking with our meats and it’s a home run!
Family dinner doesn’t have to be as much work as Sunday’s at Grandma’s house – you can pop a frozen pork butt or chuck roast on low in the crock pot before you go to bed, viola you wake up to the start of an easy and versatile meal.
Keep a supply of our beef and pork in your freezer to make family meals a snap.
Essential Health 74 Park Road West Hartford CT. Essential Health not only offers a pasture-raised meat program (that we participate in) but they also carry an entire line of Natural Foods & personal care items. They are literally a one-stop shop for health. Along with their natural foods they have Far-infared Sauna’s, massage, yoga, a rotating list of clinics and workshops and of course Dr. Allie’s chiropractic care for the entire community. We love working with Allie, Dave & Mike. Check them out online at https://essentialhealthct.com/
Anyone who has visited the farm since September was sure to meet the passel of hogs we raised for The Kendall Co-Op Project. Under the Whole Animals for the Whole Region Project – we were contracted to raise both pork and beef that is destined to feed students at Smith College, Westfield State University, Mount Holyoke and Amherst College. https://www.kendall.org/whole-animals-for-the-whole-region/
The goal of this program was to increase the direct purchase of beef and pork from farms in New England and to introduce nose-to-tail dining to these campuses as opposed to buying individual cuts through distributors as they’ve done in the past.
The direct benefit was pretty great – the students & staff get to eat high quality meat, the farmers were paid a fair fee for their animals and the local slaughterhouses had extra work during their slow months. But the ripple effect is where it gets pretty interesting. First off, the ability to raise additional animals without having to worry about storing and selling the cuts was HUGE!! And, for just our small contribution to this program we were able to help support 7 local farms:
Real food enthusiast following nature's template