“Let them know what it is like to be free from fluorescent lights and laser pointer meetings. Let them challenge themselves to be forever resourceful and endlessly clever. Let them whistle and sing loud as they like without getting called into an office for “disturbing the workforce.” Let them commute down a winding path with birdsong instead of a freeway’s constant growl. Let them be bold. Let them be romantic. Let them grow up not having to ask another adult for permission to go to the dentist at 2 p.m. on a Thursday. Let them get dirty. Let them kill animals. Let them cry at the beauty of fallow earth they just signed the deed for. Let them bring animals into this world, and realize they don’t care about placenta on their shirt because they no longer care about shirts. Let them wake up during a snowstorm and fight drifts at the barn door instead of traffic. Let them learn what real work is. Let them find happiness in the understanding that success and wealth are not the same thing. Let them skip the fancy wedding. Let them forget four years of unused college. Let them go. Let them go home.”
Farming gets into your soul and takes over. We eat, sleep and dream farming. Every day we deal with the challenges that nature and the earth present to us and we relish in it. While we do have second jobs, many people who start their own businesses do in the beginning. Many small businesses fail. The work is hard, the hours are long, but the reward is infinite.
Recently we’ve been getting all of our fall crops in, irrigating like crazy, dealing with deer/groundhog problems, harvesting for hours a day and attending our markets! Our weed pressure is surprisingly not that bad for a farm that has never been tilled before and we are very thankful for that (our backs especially). The winter squash is just about ready to harvest and the sweet potatoes are sizing up! I can not wait to eat acorn squash baked with maple syrup and butter. Delicious.
Sungold Tarts with Thyme (and Lamb Bacon) (we loved this one!!)
Yield: 4-6 servings
2 pints Sungold tomatoes (or any sweet small cherry tomato)
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for brushing the dough
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
Pastry dough (homemade or store-bought, e.g. from Pie Corps)
Melted butter, optional
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Wash and pick through the tomatoes, discarding any that are split or soft. Toss them in a medium bowl with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt.
3. Arrange the tomatoes and sprigs of thyme in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for 40 minutes or until the tomatoes have split and start releasing juices. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
4. On another baking sheet lined with parchment paper, lay out 1 round of pastry dough. Spoon the roasted tomatoes into the center*, crimp up the edges of the dough and brush them with olive oil or melted butter. Alternatively, use a pie pan and prebake the crust for 10 minutes before adding the tomato filling.
5. Bake tarts for 15 minutes, or until the crust has browned.
*Optional: You can prepare lamb (or pork) bacon ahead of time, then chop and sprinkle, or crumble it over the tomatoes before baking the tart.