Farms

Greenhand

FFA Manual
Yes, I was a member. I spent a year at Essex Agricultural and Technical Institute as a forestry major. I joined the FFA and achieved the degree of Greenhand. That's my pin attached to the cover. I never got one of those cool corduroy jackets, but I coveted the ones my classmates had. They made you look like you were a member of a motorcycle gang. Most people don't know about the FFA, but the movie Napoleon Dynamite put it on the map in this new century. Being at Essex Aggie was a wonderful experience. I sometimes regret that I left. The reasons I left were all good though. I enjoyed my limited time there and have many great memories of the place. Students got half a day in class and half a day in the field or on the farm. I got to manage timber stands, plant trees, study lots and lots of biology and also work at traditional farm skills. The staff were all friendly and helpful. My fellow students were a pleasure to be with and all had a good sense of themselves. My father always said I was the happiest there. It must have showed. Being on the super honor roll was evidence of that. Whenever I drive by the school I always feel a sense of pride and gratitude. I wish I could go back all over again.
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McCormick Farmall Cub

McCormick Farmall Cub
Found this parked not far from our home.
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Green Meadows Farm

Green Meadows Farm

For three years now we've been a member of a community-supported agriculture (CSA) organic farm. Green Meadows Farm is located in Hamilton Massachusetts and is owned by the Patton Family. We buy a share of the harvest before the season starts and this guarantees them income for operating expenses. In return we get a weekly portion of the harvest all season long. The season usually lasts a half year. Currently they are even selling extensions for the late harvest and augmenting the share with other organic produce sent cooperatively to the farm from larger producers. They grow all organic fruits and vegatables, raise livestock and also sell a flower share. They even have a wine share in cooperation with a local winery. We purchase shares for vegatables, lamb and pork. Everything is amazingly fresh and delicious. Because the food is harvested at it's peak it tasts better and lasts longer than anything we have bought in a supermarket. Having restaurant quality food every day is a real treat. Interestingly, the harvest will dictate our meal planning which is a good thing because we don't have to decide what to make. We are eating seasonally and getting a well rounded organic diet.

Some of the harvest is pick your own. This affords us the opportunity to go into the fields and pick out our share and see how things are grown. It may be berries, beans, herbs or potatoes that will be collected. The best part is that it gets you out into the summer air. While out in the fields we may see the mobile chicken coop. This is a cage on wheels that moves from place to place. The chickens fertilise the patch they are parked over and they pick up the insects and grubbs at the same time keeping those insect pests at bey. We have also participated in some of the education sessions the farm hosts. Our favorite was the edible wild plant lesson. Who knew there were so many things to eat during a walk in the woods!

Being able to know and talk to the people who are growing your food gives a you a real connection to what is happening with the food you eat. We are more attuned to the weather and how it will affect the weekly share. When the weather is Ideal we can look forward to a wonderful bounty from that weeks harvest. Because we are share holders we have also had to experience the lean times. Entire fields were flooded during the May rains of 2006. That year was not a bust, but all that flooding set the schedule behind almost a month.

We will continue own a piece of this very special place for next year, supporting the community, supporting the goals of CSA and eating healthy all at the same time. We look forward to the veggies we'll get for the next couple of weeks in the lead up to Thanksgiving, but our friends below may not have such happy expectations.

Do You think they're nervous?

Do you think they're nervous?

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