Artichokes & Tokyo Turnips — Full Belly Farm • Red Mustard Greens & Thyme — Riverdog Farm • Plus everything in the PeckPeck
Asparagus — Durst Organic Growers • Collards, French Breakfast Radishes & White Spring Onions — Full Belly Farm • Red Beets & Snow Peas — Riverdog Farm • Albion Strawberries* — T & Y Strawberry Patch •Bite
Asparagus — Durst Organic Growers • Tokyo Turnips & White Spring Onions — Full Belly Farm • Snow Peas— Riverdog Farm • Albion Strawberries* — T & Y Strawberry Patch [...]
Asparagus — Durst Organic Growers • Lambsquarters — Full Belly Farm • Sage & Scarlet Queen Turnips — Riverdog Farm • Plus everything in the PeckPeck
Baby Bok Choy, Carrots, Green Butter Lettuce & Green Garlic — Full Belly Farm • Dino Kale & Snap Peas — Riverdog Farm • Albion Strawberries* — T & Y Strawberry Patch •Bite
Asparagus — Durst Organic Growers • Carrots & Green Butter Lettuce — Full Belly Farm • Snap Peas— Riverdog Farm • Albion Strawberries* — T & Y Strawberry Patch •
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The Third Graders Are Coming!
Spring has always been my favorite time here on the farm. Most people enjoy the beautiful flowers popping up, the green rolling hills, and the birth of the myriad baby animals. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of the aforementioned changes that happen during this time of year, but it’s the arrival of the third graders here at our farm that brings me the most joy. Springtime for me means school group season, and it is my job to teach groups of rambunctious Waldorf third graders about farming.
I began working at Full Belly eight summers ago, when I was asked to be a camp counselor for the farm’s summer camp program. During the first summer I was simply a camp counselor. I loved being a camp counselor so much that the next summer I found myself back at the farm. Over the years I began to pick up more leadership roles during summer camp. I began teaching lessons, which meant others depended on my knowledge of the farm. Eventually, I could not be torn away from the farm. I would arrive weeks before camp started and would remain weeks after camp had ended working in the fields or the shop, helping with anything that needed doing. Half way through college, I decided that I wanted to return to Full Belly Farm after graduation.
I graduated from the University of Wyoming in the spring of 2012, and shortly thereafter I moved to the farm to become a full time employee. For the first six months I spent much of my time doing everything and anything that needed to get done. Spring of 2013 was when the real fun began. This is when I started working closely with Hallie for school group season. We worked hard together, teaching children and providing an excellent on the farm experience. This year, now that Hallie is spending more time in the office, I am in charge of leading all of the school groups and I couldn’t be happier about this new role.
I get immense joy from working with the third graders that arrive almost every weekday from the beginning of April to the end of May. I have found that third graders are at a very special age. They are eager to learn, not afraid of a little hard work, and are still filled with the innocent curiosity of a younger child. During their stay, they do everything from milking the cow to harvesting hundreds of vegetables to packing the CSA boxes that are sent to your very own home. They sleep in the walnut orchard under a beautiful canopy of green spring leaves and brightly shining stars. They play in the refreshing cool water of the creek when the weather heats up and they enjoy fresh produce picked with their own two hands.
The education program at Full Belly Farm is almost older than I am and already have we seen people return to the farm. Last summer we had two different women get married on the farm both of whom had visited the farm as third graders. It’s our hope that we can continue to have people come back to the farm, whether its to get married, be an intern, or become a dedicated CSA member. Over the years we’ve established roots in other communities to foster the growth of agricultural knowledge around us.
Agriculture illiteracy is a huge problem here in the United States and it’s important that farms play their role in being a part of the solution. Our answer, or at least one of them, is teaching children about farming when they are young. Having them experience the joys and trials of farming brings them closer to the land now and hopefully forever. It’s our hope that the third graders return home after spending a night or two here on the farm and take with them the many lessons they have learned. In doing so, they themselves become teachers of these lessons to those in their community, encouraging others to forge a connection with land, farming and real food.
This spring, take time to enjoy the blooming flowers, the babies being born, and the knowledge that kids are getting their hands dirty in our rich soil.
Tokyo Turnips — Full Belly Farm • Baby Tat Soi, Cilantro & Purple Haze Carrots — Riverdog Farm • Plus everything in the PeckPeck
Valencia Oranges — Blue Heron Farm • Asparagus — Durst Organic Growers • Arugula, Cippolini Onions & Spinach — Full Belly Farm • Chioggia Beets & Red Radishes — Riverdog Farm •Bite
Valencia Oranges — Blue Heron Farm • Asparagus — Durst Organic Growers • Cippolini Onions & Spinach — Full Belly Farm • Purple Haze Carrots— Riverdog Farm •
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To all of you who have chosen to be Full Belly Farm CSA members, I imagine that at least part of that decision resulted from you thinking that our farm is somehow more just or fair than most other farms. However, if I asked you “What is justice?” I imagine very few people would be able to readily answer that question. And how can we say that Full Belly is more just, if we don’t even know what we are talking about?
I don’t have the answers to any of life’s biggest questions for you (at least not this week), but the farm has provided an excellent space for thinking about these questions in brand new contexts for me. One of my projects in particular, bottle-feeding our bummer lambs, has brought up a multitude of moral questions for me. For those of you who don’t know, bummer lambs are what we call the lambs that the mother ewes reject. I have bottle fed our 9 bummer lambs, 3 times a day for several weeks, which has given me a lot of time to think about the project. Here are some of the questions I have been wrestling with:
Was domestication moral? Is it moral to take away a species ability to fend for itself and make them dependent? Does it change your answer if they are being put to really useful tasks, like mowing and fertilizing, which would otherwise be done with diesel machinery? If it was immoral than what should be done with domesticated animals today? Should we simply stop breeding them? Would erasing domesticated animals from existence erase the crime?
Given the fact of domestication, and that I am right now responsible for 9 newborn creatures who need me to feed and protect them, what is the best way to proceed? Must they be kept behind a fence, with me in complete control of all the resources they need, on the other side of the fence? If the fence is necessary for their own safety, than what is the best way to feed them given that there are 9 of them and that I only have two hands. I think it would be useful to illustrate what has ended up happening without my really thinking about it. Because of natural variation some of the lambs are bigger and stronger than the other lambs. If you try to feed the smaller ones before the bigger ones the bigger ones will keep knocking them out of the way. However, if you feed all the biggest ones first, by the time you get to feeding the smaller ones, who also tend to drink slower, the bigger ones will be ready to bother the smaller ones again. So what ends up working best, for you as the feeder, is to feed the very biggest, then the very smallest, then the next biggest, then the next smallest, always saving the ones in the very middle for last. I have thought seriously about taking each lamb out and feeding him or her individually, in an arbitrary order each meal, but then I start thinking about whether it would be ethical as an hourly wage earner to spend so much time on what others might consider such a simple task. And then I start to think about the ethics of the employee-employer relationship, which is some really dangerous thinking, especially if one has just been thinking about the ethics of domestication, dependency, and how to create systems to make sure that everyone gets fed fairly.
But I digress. My goal here wasn’t to share answers, but to share questions. Being a member of a CSA, as the first letter suggests, is about being a part of a community. One of the best ways to deepen community is to create common conversations within that community. So this week, as you are sitting down with your family to enjoy some of this delicious box of produce, I would like you to discuss some or all of the questions that have occurred to me while I have been feeding the bummer lambs, and what, if any, implication the answers to those questions have for how we should go about feeding everyone in our human society? And if you happen to come up with a better system for feeding the lambs while doing so please let us know!
– Sam Schwartz, Intern
The perfect appetizer for a spring dinner party! It’s quick and easy to makep>
Pinch of Kosher Salt
Pinch of Pepper
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
8 ounces of thinly sliced prosciutto
Set the oven to broil and place the oven rack 5 to 6 inches from the broiler elementp>
Snap the spears to remove the woody part of the stem and then rinse in a sink filled with cold waterp>
Starting just under the head of the asparagus, wrap a thin piece of prosciutto in [...]