Greentree Naturals Newsletter - Fall 2005
Well, we survived our second year with Sunday Brunch on the Farm. This is such a delightful event that the positive factors all out weigh the amount of work it takes to make it happen. We set our calendar to have seven brunches again this summer; one every other week as soon as the weather warms up. This means that we are scheduling just one day off every 13 days, which is pretty typical of summertime anyhow.
People are so enthusiastic about coming to the farm to eat fresh food. It feels like we are making an impact on people and that they are opening their hearts to the concept of what a community food system truly is about. We set out a little book and invited people to write comments or thoughts about their experience at the Brunch. The following are a few of those annotations:
“An amazing place and fabulous food ~ thanks so much for a most ‘organic' experience ~ great way to spend my 40th birthday!” -- Amy
“Thank you for making me feel that everything is as it should be!” -- Susan
“What a wonderful day and fantastic food to end our cousin's reunion!” -- Carol
October 8th was the last farmers market of the season. What a relief to have that weekly event a fading memory! Don't get me wrong, I love the market, it is just a lot of preparation and work. People are always so appreciative of what we bring to sell. Not meaning to quote Martha Stewart, but it's a good thing!
The highlight of this year's farmer's market season was that my husband, Thom managed to attend most of the markets with me. This has totally spoiled me to have his assistance after 16 years of always doing the market by myself. I think that after last year's events when I was out of town to deal with the death of my father during the peak of the harvest, Thom had to take on the market alone. I think he had an awakening about how much work it can be for one person. Plus, I think he discovered that he really liked it! I am so spoiled now and most grateful!
We don't know what we would do without the dedication of our seasonal apprentices. This year, Ana Kampe was with us as our only full time apprentice this summer. Ana came to us from University of Montana where she was studying Sustainable Food and Farming through the Environmental program there. Ana also worked with Chef Sora every other week assisting her with Sunday Brunch preparations. Linsay (full time apprentice 2004) returned to help on harvest day every Tuesday, and Alicia (full time apprentice 2003) also returned one or two days a week and worked every Sunday Brunch helping us with all that needs to be done. Linsay and Ana alternated brunches and helped keep everything flowing serving and taking care of our guests. They really become an essential part of the farm and feel like a part of our family by the end of the season. These amazing young women are the future of sustainable agriculture!
Our apprentice program is an important part of keeping our small farm alive. We continue with the goal of developing a farm school, but lack the funds to expand into having the proper housing for students. It all takes time and money. We will hold on to this dream and keep working towards it becoming a reality one day.
On October 19th, I am heading to Burlington, Vermont to attend the Women in Sustainable Agriculture Conference. Through the generosity of a newly established foundation, I will be attending this event with the chef that prepares meals for our Sunday brunches along with three of our apprentices, Alicia, Susanne and Ana. This is my first time back east and we have been told that the fall colors will be in full splendor while we are there!
There is always a lot to do before the snow flies. It has been an unusually warm fall season here, which has kept many vegetables growing longer than I can ever recall. It is nice to still have broccoli, tomatoes, peppers and squash fresh from the gardens. Soon enough, everything will be blanketed with snow. I look forward to winter!
With the economy flailing about as it is with the cost of gasoline, the most important piece of advise I can offer any of you that come to our website is that you find a local, small acreage organic farmer and support them by purchasing their produce! There was a time in the U.S. that most of the food in each of our communities came from what I refer to as a local community food system. All this means is that if you are not growing your own garden, you are supporting those in your community that are by buying from them in stead of the grocery store whenever possible. If you don't know of a local farmer, try visiting www.localharvest.org and do a search for your state.