As we say goodbye to 2019 and another decade, we want to wish everyone a happy and healthy new year and new decade!
Now that we have downsized we have been enjoying a couple of Saturdays meandering the back roads. Today, we explored the Brattleboro Area Farmer’s Market in Vermont. They have been around for 45 years, have lots of vendors and they bought the land. It was a weedy, overgrown area along the river and they cleaned it up and called it home. They jury their vendors. What a fabulous place. Spent lots of money too.
So apparently we parked in the wrong parking lot as there was no bridge to cross this stream.
I crossed it with my sandals and let me tell you – 90 degrees outside and that was very refreshing. Keith found a bridge and used that as he had boots on.
Our first stop was this small little booth where this young lady did a lot of wildcraft harvesting. This beautiful collection of harvested flower petals makes a great cold tea which we sampled. We currently have some brewing in the sun.
Next up, wine tasting at 10:30 in the morning.
We bought two kinds pictures above. Actually, we went back and bought two more bottles of the ginger liqueur. Boy was that one good. I will be enjoying this over ice tonight. Keith tasted their blueberry wine and said his tasted better!
Over 50 vendors and lots of neat things to see. Some vendors had harvested their early garlic and we bought some huge bulbs. We picked up 4 honker ones. They had wood fired bread bakers there and some nice looking focaccia. Oops there goods the paleo diet, grabbed some basil, pesto and red pepper. Sorry, forgot to take a picture. It’s gone!
Another awesome vendor, High Goose Farm. They have 1,000 black currant plants!! They were selling shaved ice flavored with black currant concentrate and some black currant soda which was made with seltzer water and black currant concentrate flavored with maple syrup. We have 2 mature plants and just purchased 12 more this spring for our wine making. Lots of powerful goodness in these berries. Research it.
It took us 1 3/4 hours to get there but worth it.
Should stop here but after we left there we headed up Route 5 north and stopped at Walker Farm. Pretty impressive farm right off busy Route 5. Nice farm store with lots of things to purchase. Lots of greenhouses and lots of things growing in the fields. They had one huge greenhouse strictly full of tomatoes which had been growing for a while.
After our stroll, we continued on Route 5 until we came across Harlow Farmstand and Cafe. We enjoyed a light lunch made out of fresh greens.
We continued driving around in our air conditioned Jeep. Thought it was a great way to spend the day as we certainly were not working outside in the fields or in the greenhouse on this day.
Our final stop on our field trip was in Bradford, NH at The Sweet Beet Market. They are doing something very similar to what we are doing at Gilmanton’s Own. We had a nice chat with Bea there and it was a great place to visit and very successful as that.
Well, we hope you enjoyed reading about our day. We certainly enjoyed living it. Stay cool everyone. Michelle and Keith
I’m a terrible blog poster. Sorry for not posting sooner.
We are enjoying our “semi-retirement”. It seems we picked a good year to start. Family issues, truck repairs and the weather just to name a few definitely have impacted or would have impacted our growing for our Farmers markets and CSA if we had continued with them this year.
Although we have not enjoyed a hike yet, we have definitely enjoyed a slower start up to the season. Keith actually was able to get away for a couple days with a friend and went to Maine.
As you can see in this picture, so far we have been able to control the weeds. Now that we have planted in the field, we shall see if we can keep it up. Enjoy the picture. I love it. Michelle
Some of you will recall we sent out a survey about what 5 things you would like us to grow. That might have tipped you off to possible change in the air.
We moved to Gilmanton in January 2011. This was the only month that we worked on our home. The rest of the time that we have resided in Gilmanton, we have worked to clear the fields, amend the soil, cut down trees, build a barn, amend the soil more, build a greenhouse, start a non-profit with others (Gilmanton’s Own) and build another greenhouse. Our time never returned back to our home, which has and continues to need work. The constant busyness of the summer and always playing catch up never led to any time to do anything but harvest the vegetables and weed the gardens. Seven years of trying to build our business but never being able to get to the next level has made us rethink our future. What were we doing wrong?
We know we grow great food. We have heard it from our customers, countless times over. And we love hearing the feedback. We cannot give it up. So we decided to scale down. We are giving up our land lease and growing only on our property. We will be using our greenhouses to get a jump start on our season and to extend the season. We will no longer be participating in farmers market or offering a CSA. What products we grow, will be exclusively for Gilmanton’s Own and area chefs.
So what will we be offering? Carrots, cucumbers (slicing and picklers), tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, head lettuce and garlic. In the spring and fall we will have spinach; in the spring/early summer we will have broccoli; in the fall we will have cabbage.
Keith will be offering consulting services to all you home gardeners out there. If anyone is struggling with growing at home, he can help. We will have more information about this on the website which will be updated soon.
What do we see for us? We see the ability to work on our home. We see a not so stressed out summer. Maybe we can take a day and go hiking and actually enjoy the summer. Keith likes to dabble in wine making. Those of you who have tried Keith’s wine, it’s pretty good. Maybe we can expand that? We see getting more black currant plants and making more wine. Peach trees? The sky’s the limit.
We are looking forward to this change. Already, we are relieved about next summer. I am excited about having my Saturdays off. Maybe I can go to yard sales now. We are excited about having the time to spread Keith’s knowledge about growing nutrient dense vegetables to home gardeners. We thank all of our customers who have supported us in our CSA and at farmer’s markets during these past years. Remember we will have product at Gilmanton’s Own (April through December) and encourage you to support them as well as your support of your local farmer.
Thank you, Keith and Michelle
It’s a mad dash to put the greenhouse up. Today was a gorgeous day. Keith invented this wood contraption which helped steady the heavy frame while we put them into each side’s ground post. We continue tomorrow.
So we’ve made it through three days straight of greenhouse building. Michelle has taken the week off to accomplish this task. The two of us have worked continually for the last 3 days. It’s amazing the muscles that you didn’t realize you had in the aches that could be even possible. Makes me realize how sedentary my life is sitting in an office chair. Today invites snow which does not allow us to run the electrical tools we need to start framing the end walls. Our bodies are thankful for the day of rest. It is beautiful outside watching the snowfall.
You would never know it was 10:30 at night the way these rascals are carrying on.
Some of you may know we have two Australian Shepherds. We bred them recently and have been enjoying the pups
now for 5 weeks. It’s like having kids all over again! 5 of them. Lots of sleepless nights!
Yep, still here. We’ve been busy. We’ve got puppies! 4 weeks old and growing! Here’s some random farm photos.
Need we say more?