by Jonathan Swiftcreek
2010 was a year of delicious bounty. Natural factors such as the intensity of last winter along with the mildness and wetness of the following spring gave us fruit galore. In personal orchards, on farms, and in the wild, we had our pick of tasty fruits from May until even now in late October. Strawberries, juneberries, Nanking cherries, blueberries, jostaberries, blackberries, wineberries, currants, gooseberries, figs, muscadines and scuppernongs, apples, persimmons! Yummmmm!!!
Many folks supplemented their own garden produce with a share in Yellowroot Farm’s CSA. The CSA provided 15 shares a week for 22 weeks. Shares included beets, carrots, lettuce, escarole, turnips and cucumbers in the early season and later included tomatoes, okra, peppers, potatoes, garlic, more greens, and plenty of sauerkraut and kimchee (spicy, fermented, Asian sauerkraut).
Bee Happy Farm, run by Marjorie Vestal in the Bellavia neighborhood has been very busy establishing a large thornless blackberry orchard which produced enough fruit this year for mead-making. In addition, Marjorie has been implementing a sizeable garden on her homesite including mushroom logs, herbs galore, more fruit, and a small pond.
Gateway Farm’s sheep flock produced 30 fleeces, 8 pelts, and 300-350 pounds of lamb. Unseen to customers, but another high value crop, Gateway also produced 1500, 50-pound bales of hay from an off-land lease nearby. Fall is the annual stock-up-on-squash time. Gateway raised 2000 pounds of a variety of squash and 100 pounds of onions. We’re looking forward to fresh and as-local-as-it-gets turkeys for the holidays.
Many villagers got their pasture-raised and free-range eggs from Imani Farm this year. Pictured to the right are new chicks (came in the mail but being raised by a momma hen who adopted them upon arrival.) Imani also grazed their upper pasture with their second year steers. In the lower field Imani grew plenty of blueberries and about 1000 pounds of tomatoes (see our blog entry).
Jonathan Swiftcreek is an avid food producer, preserver and forager, always open to learning new forms of reverence towards food. He is a new member of Earthaven as well as the Village Terraces Cohousing Neighborhood and a participant in many of Earthaven’s farms. He and his partner, eli will be first-time parents in April.