Saturday, March 29, 2008


Despite March's winter-y cold, things at Broadturn Farm have been getting stoked up for a busy spring. If March's weather was lion-like with wind and snow, we made up for it by having a few lambs this month. The youngest and most fragile is pictured below. "Goldie" had a rough start when her mother gave preferential nurturing to her twin brother. But with Emma's care, and Dulsie's milk she is doing very well. Here she is getting warm next to our greenhouse stove.

The greenhouse is being heated through the cold nights with a wood stove and with the walls buttoned up tight it is little California in our back yard. We are happy to spend our hours out here working on seedlings and thawing out our winter selves. Flora enjoys mixing potting soil and water and helping to collect kindling for the woodstove.

Each night, one of us (usually John) tromps out to load the stove again around 3AM so the fire is well stoked as we head into the coldest part of the early morning. Simple life you say.....ha.

This past weekend, we gathered up a crew of folks and processed our winter pig to provide meat to feed the crew all summer. The freezer is loaded with ribs and roasts and chops. Toto fired up the smoker and in will go the bacon, ham and hocks. Each time we process a pig, we do something a little different. This time, we are trying some back bacon (also known as Canadian Bacon). This cut comes from the back of the pig. Slab bacon originates from the belly. The pig processing takes 2 days, the first includes the slaughter and the second finishes the project with the butchering of the meat. On Saturday, we treated our helpful friends to a brunch of bacon (from last summer's pig), fresh eggs and our favorite bagels from One Fifty Eight in South Portland. Sunday, after we finished cutting the meat, cryovacing the cuts, grinding meat and fat for sausage and making brine for the meat that will get smoked, we settled down at 20 in the greenhouse for a delicious lunch. Pulled pork from the summer pig made with a sauce of last summer's tomatoes, garlic and onions, and, of course, the tenderloins from this weekend's pig. All this pork was accompanied by the tastiest of potluck accouterments. It is always an honor to have so many folks interested in coming out to help with these farm chores. We are ever-grateful.

A few import events are upcoming. This weekend is a fundraiser for our friend and fellow CSA farmer: Seth Kroeck.

Community Benefit Planned For Seth Kroeck Farmers Fund. Sunday, April 6th. Two benefits, with all proceeds going to the fund, will be held at Fort Andross in Brunswick. From 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Jai Yoga will lead a class on Yoga as a Path of Healing. From 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., El Camino Restaurant and Frontier Cafe will host a festive event including food, live music, film, kids' activities and a silent auction. Tickets are $40 (children under 12 free). Kroeck, who leases Crystal Spring Farm from the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and runs a successful Community Supported Agriculture program at the Farm, has very been sick with an undiagnosed illness since last October. He has been unable to operate his CSA this year. For more information, contact the Brunswick Topsham Land Trust at 729-7694 or or visit Frontier's website.

Another is a Space Gallery weekend about food and farms.

full schedule at Space's website
Sunday, April 27, 2008 — Food Source Roundtable
Doors open at 7:00pm, starts at 7:30pm, $6, free for SPACE members, All ages
Buy tickets at
Begins with a screening of the short film Fridays at the Farm (19 min), a lovingly-made personal essay by a filmmaker trying to reconnect his family with the source of the food they consume. Followed by a round-robin discussion with local advocates of sustainable food, including Roger Doiron (Kitchen Gardeners International), John Bliss and Stacy Brenner (Broadturn Farm), and David Buchanan, Slow Food Portland organizer and proponent of heirloom crops.

If you come out to the farm in the next few weeks, don't be alarmed if you find us totally moved out of the house. In fact we are moved in down the street temporarily due to a very untimely and very disruptive lead paint removal project... yes, there is lead paint dust left over from the renovation last year. Flora our 1.5 year old tested high at her first year check-up, and though she is back down to lower levels now, it was alarming enough to involve a government program to clean the surfaces of the house. If you are free this weekend, and feel like lifting boxes and furniture with us, give a call and come on out.

Once we are moved into our temporary home, folks can reach us on our cell phone -- 233-1178

Also, we'd like to welcome our long-season apprentice to the farm, Tim. Some of you might have met him as the newest greatest baby-sitter in town. We'll give him a chance in another newsletter to introduce himself to you all, but in the meantime, you can run into him in the greenhouse, around the barns, or slowly shoveling the snow off the fields. How else will we plant this spring?!

Some members owe the second (March 15th) installment on the CSA. Please send it along as soon as you can to keep our book-keeper and repo-men working as little as possible.
Thanks, and blessings on future meals!!
--John and Stacy

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