Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Gone to Carolina Archive: My New Farm

Twins 10-14 Braves 15-10
Comments from yesterday: My Dad wrote in to say he's working on tearing down his old garden shed so he can erect a new one. Wanted me to pass on to Nate that "No, he is not putting a bathroom in it". He also is lamenting the absence of chocolate marshmallow anythings.
I did buy a box of Malomars yesterday. The Bob the Builders were good and whetted my appetite for more. I figure each day I ride my bike on my new 5-mile route, I will reward myself with 2 Malomars.
Julia wrote in to say that Michael, the middle nephew shown below, looks strikingly similar to Mensa Boy when he was younger and had his hair permed or longer. She thinks she has a photo of MB looking like that. She's digging around for it. If either of us find it, I'll post it. She also reported that her dinner of Halibut stuffed with brie, crab and apples and cooked on cedar planks was a wild success at Jeff's birthday party. The kids had hot dogs, and the adults entertained themselves by watching Jacob peeling the skin off his hot dogs. Yes, our family really knows how to have a good time!
I went to meet my new farmer last night. Many of you know that I was a shareholder for several years with Big Woods Farm in Northfield, MN. I was also their webmaster. Big Woods Farm, and my new farm, New Town Farm, are part of the CSA movement. CSA=Community Supported Agriculture. Essentially, each spring I fork over about $500 and then all through the growing season I receive weekly baskets of organically-grown vegetables. My money is really stretching far with this new farm, as the growing season goes from May 1 to Thanksgiving. In Minnesota it went essentially from June 1 to Labor Day.
Big Woods Farm is all shareholders, no farmers market work or extra stuff like that. Dave and Laurie Hougen-Eitzman do a wonderful job supporting around 70 shares, with the assistance of an intern. Dave is a professor at Carlton College in Northfield. Their farm is next to Nerstrand State Park South of Northfield. They are surrounded by big farms that grow crops for commercial use.
New Town Farm is a totally different deal. Sammy Koenigsburg went to school to be an architect and then sort of fell into farming when his Dad wanted to divest himself of this piece of property in Union County, North Carolina. Sammy started by selling produce to a few small stores and then got involved with organizing the Matthews Farmers Market, was approached by some big chefs in Charlotte about growing stuff for them, and then the rest is history. New Town Farm has only about 20 shareholders. We essentially benefit from the stuff the restaurants want. They want high-faluting fingerling potatoes, so we'll get them too. They want watermelon radishes, so we'll get them too. They also raise some free-range chickens and a few turkeys and have dabbled in beekeeping. They have a lovely, resort-type setting with a stocked fish pond. Their farm is rapidly being surrounded by subdivisions.

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