Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Save Our Family Farms
A "Thanks for the Memories" photo collage at Demarest Farm, Hillsdale, New Jersey
Flashback: a crisp autumn day, childhood. Age, too young to remember. I am watching apple cider being pressed. The aroma of donuts is sugary perfuming the air. I stare in awe at a scarecrow watching over a pumpkin-dotted patch.
I couldn't relive those memories, since the two farms, Van Riper's and Tice's in Montvale, New Jersey are no longer there. Van Riper's, which had been around since the 1700s, became an A&P supermarket, and Tice's is now a strip mall with a Victoria's Secret, Gap, and other chain retailers. Depressing.
Do you have fond memories of visiting a farm as a child, and do you enjoy visiting them now?
Earth Day weekend marked the re-opening of Demarest Farm, which has been family owned since 1886 and operates from April through November. I'm already dreaming about their juicy summertime peaches, but my taste buds will have to be patient.
On a rainy day, I couldn't sit yet on their inviting picnic benches.
So I sat with my mom next to a cheerful geranium plant. My feast: corn chowder soup, an onion roll and blueberry iced tea.
Go lightly: we bring our own silverware to avoid the plastic.
A bunch of this asparagus came home with me for homemade asparagus soup (I add a potato, onions or shallots, some vegan stock and salt and pepper - that's it).
Cider donuts! Wash it down with a cup of their complimentary coffee. Real coffee from a pot - not those wasteful plastic single serve pods that will linger in our landfills generations after we drank the coffee.
Farmers' hats overhead seem to be bowing to the wagon wheel and an era of family farms gone by.
Visit Local Harvest to find family farms, farmers markets, CSAs and more near you.
Very little that we shop for can truly be called a "need." Food is. Support family farms, and give thanks for the nourishment they bring to body and soul. Let's cast our vote with our dollars for farms.