These last two Saturdays we enjoyed an amazing turnout of people eager to pick their own tomatoes. I am not exaggerating when I say that a couple of tons got picked. Tomatoes were carried away in buckets, carts (Radio Flyers), boxes, bags, coolers and wheelbarrows. I would love to have followed the trail from our fields into peoples’ kitchens, to see how these beautiful summer fruit were being preserved — chopped, sliced, blanched, skinned, boiled, dehydrated, or roasted — for Fall and Winter use. Pickers also explored the surrounding fields, harvesting a diversity of other tasty crops such as our “toe-curling” Sungold cherry tomatoes, peppers, sweet berries, crunchy apples… even sunflower-heads filled with tasty seeds and spicy daikon radishes were taken home by some adventurous harvesters.
Events like these always reaffirm my belief that a farm is more than just a place that grows and sells food. It’s a place where community can enjoy the simple pleasures of picking and eating something right from the field where it is grown and cared for, surrounded by nature. We spend so much time talking about food justice, food security, food safety, food nutrition, food systems… yet that which gives vitality and meaning to the land’s nourishing gifts – food pleasure – is often overlooked. The pleasure we find in food is contagious and speaks to the farmer within us, the one that believes in growing flavorful, fresh, and nourishing food. It speaks to the cook in us who enjoys preparing a delicious meal, and of course it speaks to us eaters (that’s everyone), who undeniably take pleasure in eating and sharing a delicious meal.
Personally, few things give me greater pleasure than to pick and eat something right in the field, whether it’s a bright red gala apple, a juicy red dry-farmed tomato, a crunchy green bean, or a sun-warmed ripe berry; it is such a simple but deeply satisfying experience. The pleasure we get out of great tasting food is sometimes not acknowledged enough. The guiding principle of our farm is to maintain that intimacy and openness between farm and community, such that we can all experience the pleasure of this nourishing relationship.
Enjoy these last few weeks of summer and come out to the farm while tomatoes are still plentiful. You are welcome to pick by yourself during our regular Saturday Farm stand hours between 10am-3pm. Another great opportunity to enjoy and support the farm is during our upcoming events. The Live Earth Farm Discovery Program’s Fundraiser is on September 22nd, a not to be missed, in-the-field Culinary Feast; there’s also an Apple U-pick and Fresh Cider Pressing Community Farm Day on September 29th, and our End-of-Season Harvest Fest on October 20th.
Hope you can all come and enjoy “YOUR” Farm.