On an almost-Spring Sunday, that seemed more like Summer, I and a few other Boston Brunchers met in the indigo-tiled kitchen of a lovely home in Cambridge. We came to swap stories about food (what else?), blogging (we’re all bloggers), and restaurants, and to hear from our hosts, The Farm School, and learn about their amazing programs.
Situated on 300 acres in Athol, MA, The Farm School is an educational school where non-farming people experience first hand how to be close to the earth. Their programs for youngsters and their teachers dealing with the work and care of a farm are all hands-on. So successful were these programs, that they are now a national model of how to engage children in work and the land. In addition, they provide a year-long “learn to farm” residential training program for adults where subjects such as Animal Husbandry and Marketing are also included. We need to be encouraging and instructing more people in this country on how to farm, and how to do it properly and sustainably, and this program sounds like an amazing way to do just that.
The Farm School CSA which began in 1999, serves 150 families who pick up their shares at two drop-off sites in town, one for pre-boxed shares, and one arranged market-style. My knowledge of CSA’s was very limited when I lived in California. SInce moving to New England I have developed a huge love and appreciation of them. You definitely get a different perspective of agriculture and the fruits and vegetables you are eating when you can actually meet and talk to the people who are growing your food. The taste and quality does not compare to supermarket produce. (They also have a meat CSA.)
And since a large part of Boston Brunchers’ get-togethers deals with BRUNCH, the Farm School did not disappoint in that department. We were served a tremendous meal (on just-cut maple slab “plates”) that showcased the delicious (excuse the pun) fruits of their bounty. Pork belly, braised in Maple Mead, that was tender and unctuous, bacon that tasted like candy, eggs with yolks that were as orange as pumpkins and creamy as butter, and sauteed spinach that was earthy and sweet, although we were assured no sugar was added. The meal was topped off with thick squares of Bread Pudding made with Brioche from Iggy’s Bakery.
I highly recommend you check out The Farm School website, and go visit the farm. And then think about becoming a member of their CSA, where you can develop a deep intimate relationship with people who actually grow the food you eat.