Monday, October 5, 2009

Twilight of Agricultural Positivism

The season is winding down at Broadturn Farm. Interns are gone, frosts are regular, and the potatoes are out. (The potatoes? Yes, they are gone... remember? it was not such a good season.) Garlic goes in now:

One of the last chores for Ben and Amanda (volunteer Abby pictured here too) Thanks for your work!
Applesauce for the pantry:

We also make our way over to one of our favorite junk shops where there is lots to look at, including lots of cool tools:

...kniknaks who want to come home with us,

... and a gem of mid-20th century agricultural propaganda: the Dairy Diorama:

Apparently this 3-D demonstration tool used to be on display at one of the fairs in the State, and had (has?) working movable parts: dancing milk-jugs, parading cheese and ice-cream, and a chewing cow with glistening milk pouring from her udders and flowing right into the Milk Plant. Thanks to Maine's dairy industry heritage I have seen a few of these kinds of displays, but none as beautiful as this one, even though it is tucked into the back a storage trailer...

Fall always seems to be the time of year for us to make the pilgrimage to the junk shop. It is this twilight of agricultural positivism that goes so well with falling leaves and the end of the growing season. The county and town fairs all over the state this time of year speak to the same theme: past glory, grandfather farmers... and a sort of submission to what has become of our farm economy. Depressing? ... well, although these days there is not too much good news for our region's dairy industry, I actually feel inspired and hopeful in visiting these artifacts of our "industry". The bare fact that in a terrible season like this one, in a rotten economy, and the many other odds stacked against us, we can still plod ahead. We can pay for our season's expenses. Work out a long term lease. Plant garlic for next year. We are doing something very very fundamental and we are doing it with our community's support. So there is something for which to be grateful.
The Harvest (only two more to go after this week!)
Daikon Radishes
Butternut squash
There are a few challenging items this week: Celeriac is not so well known, but it is a root relative of parsley and celery. It has a great flavor that is somehow nutty and spicy, as well as celery-y and parsley-y. Daikon Radish also may require some thought, although stir-fry is an obvious choice, you will have enough diakon for a week's worth of stir-fry, so hit the books for some recipes. Why don't we spoon feed you a recipe? Because the internet is right in front of your face and we'd rather not plagerize one of the first ten recipes you get when you google "celeriac". If you happen to know a good one, use the Facebook page to post it!
Blessings on the meal,
John and Stacy


  1. Where oh where is that spectacular "junk" store please? I've been looking for a place just like that to get some used tools.

  2. On route 202 heading south from Rt 22, right past Salmon Falls before you reach Rt 35. Open Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays. Pete Snell (brother of John Snell of Snell Family Farm fame) is the owner.