It’s snowing outside, my fireplace is lit, my dogs are gently snoring next to me, and the mailman just dropped off another load of seed catalogs. It suddenly occurs to me that I haven’t given my impressions of my 2013 farm season yet, and I re-fill my mug of tea and tuck in to share some thoughts with you on just how wonderful this season left us feeling.
We were truly proud of all the wonderful varieties we had for you this year! We saved so much seed in 2012, that we had plenty of unique tomato & pepper varieties to adorn our farmstand and your fridges! We are so proud of our CSA, the Half Pint Farm Food Club – we had an incredibly abundant harvest for the lucky 20 households that were our members this year, they got everything from squash blossoms to pounds and pounds of heirloom tomatoes to melons to peas to fava beans to fingerlings, not to mention the most gorgeous lettuce we’ve ever grown. It was so much fun to grow for the CSA this year, and to craft the recipes that went along with them. We even provided 66 seniors with produce for 7 weeks of the summer. Now – that’s my happy place, to be sure.
Our relationships with our chefs and grocer were solid, consistent and we very rarely had to say, “sorry, we are all out of that”. Our planning, seeding, harvesting and packing has gotten better over the years, and we have a fantasy team of partners that get to showcase all things Half Pint Farm from April through October! We have lots of thoughts about how to showcase our partnerships next year, so stay tuned for news in the new year.
Despite a wet spring, flooding in July, and a sad looking field for 2 weeks, we made good choices. We were able to be patient with the recovery time of our tomatoes, and with other plants – all the hot peppers – we were able to say goodbye in a timely enough fashion so that we were able to plant out more squash and herbs and cucumbers to make up for the lack of peppers. Sorry to Benito’s Hot Sauce, there’ll be no Half Pint Farm bottling for 2013 – but count on it for 2014!
We anticipated a long, slow, slide into Fall, and GOT it! We were delivering produce to our accounts up until the week of Thanksgiving! Amazing. We’ve never had such a long season before, and I am grateful that we trusted our instincts, even though it meant we had to wait to get our rest – but it was worth it. Then, of course, there was the Seven Daysies Award for “Best Farmers’ Market Vendor” – truly a moment of deep pride and gratitude for all of our customers who voted for us!
I’m proud of all the cooking I got to do with some of my favorite people this year! I taught a super-successful posole class through City Market, I partnered with the Intervale Center on their Midsummer Night’s Feast – the Intervale’s biggest fundraiser of the year – and got to work with an amazing crew of talented chefs, can’t wait to do it again! I even guest cheffed for the Vermont Community Garden Network’s annual fundraiser and got to flex my cooking muscles there as well. Then there’s the burrito stand at the Burlington Farmers’ Market… Cooking, for me, is an inextricable link to how I farm. It is so nice to get to grow and cook for so many each year! Looking forward to more opportunities like this in the coming year. Guess I’m a “chefarmer” now!
And now, we begin to look forward to the new year, new challenges, and delicious opportunities that await us. We have a lot in store for 2014 for you, and for us – stay tuned, and look forward to signing up for our CSA, buying plants from us in Spring, and dining with us and our chefs throughout the summer! Until then, this season calls for all of us to snuggle up with those you love and reflect.