Friday, July 24, 2009

This is where it all begins.

We slept in late, I am on vacation, then we went to Blue Hill to a great place for lunch. It is the sister restaurant of Cleonice called Table a Farmhouse Bistro. O my God. I had the Ploughman's Lunch (thought that was fitting for a busman's holiday) The Mackerel pate was out of this world.

This is where is all began.
After lunch we head to the 'Good Life Center' Helen and Scott Nearing place on the Maine Coast on cape Rosier. For me this is a true pilgrimage I read the Good Life when I was just 17 and was hell bent moving back to the land.

Hand built walled organic veg garden.
Helen and Scott's home that they made by hand.
Then we went to see uncle Elliot. Elliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch, have changed my life more than any other persons I can think of. From there TV show 'Gardening Naturally' to the many books and lectures. We visited Four Season Farm
Elliot's wonderful 10 acres of organic greatness.  Sheer Mecca.

This is hard to see, but it is a wooden fist raised in defiance. What else can I say.

Eating local in Maine

Wow, the bounty of the Maine coast in summertime is amazing. The season is so short that everything seems to come to life at the same time. Peas and new potatoes grow next to the first cherry tomatoes. We toured a great farm yesterday, darthia farm was really great and I saw a porcupine in the tomato patch, I never saw that before. But Maine in the summer is really about foraging for me, and man the hunting has been good.
                                               Clams are everywhere, just make sure your cove or bay is not over raked and claming is banned. I had to walk along the coast until I got to the next township (about a mile) to rake them.
                                             Oysters are everywhere, wait for the tide to go out and walk out to the kelp covered rocks and boom.
Snails, they are on every rock and just cover the beach. They are called wrinkles here and if you get a chance you should eat at. Cleonice
I ate there last night and it was really really good, that and Elliot Coleman of Four Season Farm produce in on the menu. Maybe because I Elliot has been God like to me for decades (just look at his hair.)
The Chanterelle's are insane, they are just covering the ground. Slice and fried with some browned butter, then in go the local eggs and it makes a great side dish for our fresh foraged blueberry buckwheat pancakes
If you feel down up here (or down east ?) chances are you would end up with a blueberry in your mouth.
The last cool thing I found where these coastal cranberries, just about as sour as sour gets, but I wish they where growing outside my house.
Word from Pa. is that the farm is doing well and Late blight is not spreading. I miss the work and the landscape, but I did see a 65 acre farm with 4 greenhouses for 220,000 thats dollars, WHAT?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Yo what's up haulms?

Today, man what a day, it has stopped raining every ten minutes, and the temp is in the high 70's and the Springfield like sky that would have made Homer happy. I have been digging new potatoes all day today. Making food is lots of hard work, so come and hang out at Kennett Squares Farm Market this Friday with me or Big D and Amy on Sunday at Headhouse. 
I love digging potatoes,  not grabbling them, but really digging them. I love potatoes because they have there own lexicon. Grabbling is the act of digging 'new potatoes' while not digging up the entire plant. so you dig in rob some new spuds and let the plant keep on keeping on. Haulms is the English term for the green above ground part of the potato and new potatoes, does not mean that I genetically modified them, it means (with most varieties) that when the Haulms flower you can dig the spuds and eat the best thing that comes out of the ground.
Also potatoes make me feel like a Hobbit, maybe because my feet are filthy, or my brain is sun baked. I love the hard work and smell of the soil and how every time you turn the soil and there is this mass of tubers and my 4 year old niece standing next to me yells every time, like she is opening a birthday present. 

Here are some of the prizes of the day. Starting in the upper left hand corner is a new one for me, it is called Inca's Gold. BOOM! this is a long season storing spud, but I lifted them now. The plants where about 4 feet tall and the root system is massive. The flesh is bright yellow and the skin is yellow with stripes of purple. The ones on the bottom is purple viking, this wonderful looking spud is pure white on the inside and purple and pink on the outside. This potato really needs a new marketing rep. it should be called purple haze or at least techno viking
The one in the upper right hand corner is Ozette. OK, so Spanish explores picked up this potato in Peru and took it with them as they traveled up the coast, they gave it to the Makah Indians in Washington State and some how it ends up in my dirty little hands.