In a recent Small Farm Today article, John Ikerd asked farmers to question themselves as to why they farm, noting that the answers would be diverse as the farmers themselves. It only took me a fraction of a second to answer his question: food. On the most fundamental level, I love to produce good food--be it meat or vegetables, I want people to have access to clean, safe food produced in an environmentally and socially responsible manner and most importantly, food that TASTES GOOD.I will whole-heartedly admit that the green thumb in this family belongs to Ralph. While I'm content to move portable fences, wrestle goats for foot-trimming, bottle calves, pluck turkeys, milk cows and all the sex, manure & death associated with farming, Ralph's gift is in the care he devotes to his immaculate gardens. Here he is examining the germination rate of the Italian Cuccuzzi patch.
The barn garden--home to a wide variety of vegetables including squash, potatoes, beets, peppers and sunflowers.
One of my favorite treats Ralph grows are his gorgeous garlics. This year I talked him into including some French Grey Shallots in his Allium patch.
There's nothing like freshly-dug new potatoes! Here are some of the Pontiac Reds. He's getting ready to also harvest the Yukon Golds.
While most farmers are content to grow the tried & true staple varieties, we seek out heirloom and unusual varieties, such as these Italian Summer Squash.
With the gardens in full swing, look for all this naturally (organic with a little "o") grown food at the Carlisle Central Farmers Market in downtown Carlisle on Saturdays from 8 AM to 2 PM.