It has been a strange year. Ongoing wild weather, variable workforce, and one big thing, the move. We found a home farm. It is in Michigan. We first saw the property this spring, but the situation wasn't solidified until mid-summer. And while we waited for the deal to fall apart, we kept it to ourselves. I fully expected something to go completely off track. But it hasn't. And here we are. I know, it is crushing and yet, you are still happy for us. That is because we found a solid farm family here, in New Jersey.
Before I say anything else, I want to make sure you all know, the organic and heartfelt factor will continue to be represented at the Metuchen market. Chickadee Creek Farm, headed by my wonderful friend Jess, will be swooping in to keep everyone fed in style and care. I worked on Jess's farm when I was first setting out to grow food for a living. Hard to believe that was over four years ago. Check her farm out here. To everyone in Scotch Plains, we haven't found a farmer for the market yet, but we will do our best to find someone to fill in with the same sustainable spirit.
And now, to stop withholding tantalizing detail about the Michigan farm. It is 54 acres. A wild leap from the five acres we lease now, and just as overwhelming of a jump as it sounds. The only reason it was within our grasp- the house is in ghastly shape. Some repairs are in the works, others will have to wait for the years to come. There are several ancient barns on the property, in various states of disrepair. There is a 96'x30' hoop house on the property, which we have been readying for planting. The land is beautiful. The soil, a sandy loam, virtually rock-free. Topographically engaging with swells and dips. The farm is split almost down the center by a gravel road (all round rocks, I assume made that way by the glacial retreat). Also split by the road: water drainage. All the water from the East side of the property drains to the West, into lake Michigan. And all the water on the west side of the property drains to the East, into lake Huron. Our farm is at the center of a spiral divide! In order to start fresh, with the two of us present from the beginning, the farm will be taking a new name. Lake Divide Farm, a testament to its unique drainage pattern.
So our lives: planting, weeding, harvesting at Whistling Wolf, getting out house in Phillipsburg gussied up and put on the market (now officially), and periodically taking the 17 hour round trip to Michigan to make sure the repairs are going well, no one has vandalized our dreams, and readying the ground for next years garlic. We are a little ragged. But, isn't that the name of the game?
On Whistling Wolf farm, we have fall wonders coming in. Chard is back and watermelon radish are on the table. Jim and I recently discovered the joys of cooking radish. Sautee chunks in a skillet! Char them if you dare. (I do accidentally!) We also have a fall radish called schwarzer runder. Great sliced thin and paired with a light beer! Summer specialties are slowing down, without a question, so get em' while they last!
Looking forward to seeing you this Saturday.
Helen, Jim, and Exie the Dog