AgriCulture: Try Babies

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WHAT’S NEW THIS WEEK: A handful of Long Island Cheese Pumpkins left – They’re not stringy, so they’re perfect for pies!Lots of meat available, check out our list below.We wish you all luck in your search for Thanksgiving turkeys this year. We look forward to raising nice plump ones for you all next year.

Process and product (Photo courtesy of

Try Babies

Hi friends, it’s Victoria.Since my engineering job evaporated, I’ve been looking for new ways to spend my time, and luckily stumbled into a truly excellent avocation: assisting at the farm preschool in Germantown, Little Darlings. I’ve taught preschool before, and it feels great to slip back into the world of bright colors and shapes, snacks and hand-holding. It’s only for a couple of hours a week, but the fundamentals of childcare have already worked their way back into every aspect of my day already — down to the way I talk, even the greeting to this newsletter. At preschool, everyone and everything gets called “Friend”. Especially until I’ve learned everyone’s names.Since it’s a farm preschool, it’s also a great chance to share the things I’m passionate about with these tiny people. We spent a lot of time reading about farm life and pointing to pictures of our favorite tractors, talking about how bugs are great, and learning how to interact with animal friends — that is, very gently, and they don’t go into our mouths. It’s also reawakened a passion that always lies dormant within me, waiting for the right time to emerge…my urge to craft. Of course, I’m always working on an assortment of semi-serious art projects and farm schemes, but when it comes time to glue pieces of paper to other pieces of paper, this force simply overtakes me. I am helpless in its wake.The preschool director, Dana (of Darlin’ Doe Farms) casually suggested we try papermaking as a class before the upcoming holidays, perhaps to make cards with. As her words landed on my ears, I felt this strange stirring rise within me. Yes. Paper. We could make that. A benign madness overtook me, and over the weekend Troy and I schlepped through a series of thrift stores spanning from here to Millerton with an off-the-wall shopping list in hand. Picture frames? Yes. Duct tape? Absolutely. Four yards of flannel? You know the answer is yes.The only thing that threatened to dim my fervor was sourcing perhaps the most critical ingredient of all. Recycled paper is made, of course, from other paper, and after all my time spent accumulating such frugal supplies, I could hardly justify buying paper to turn into slightly worse paper. I even trekked down to Bard campus to riffle through their library recycling–always a goldmine for projects when I was in college. But their paperless initiatives have been a resounding success, and I returned empty-handed.I stood in the garage after my failed quest, staple gun hanging limply in my hand, a bitter wind tossing my hair. Was this the end of my grand venture, the project that had given me such single-minded purpose all weekend? Would I have to return empty-handed to a classroom of babies that would absolutely not notice or care, even a little, as to what they were missing out on? I cast my gaze around and lo, my salvation was at hand, in the form of a nigh-renewable resource: feed sacks. That’s right, folks, our chicken, sheep, and pig food all comes in a triple-layer paper sack, colored a festive white and green. Eureka.Did you know a single feed sack, torn into tiny pieces by the hands of babes, can make over two gallons of paper pulp? Am I the only one who has made this discovery to date? When I finally executed my grand plan this morning, these were not the only revelations at hand. It turns out that our most active friends (pictured above) quaver at the sound of a blender in their otherwise peaceful domain, and that the same toddler who would tell you that a handful of pre-chewed pretzel is haute cuisine will also identify harmless paper pulp as “so yucky”. But the allure of a tub full of water proved impossible to resist, the troops rallied, and we produced an entire several sheets of questionable-looking handmade paper. I’ve rarely been more satisfied.This is all just to say that there’s nothing quite as potent and motivating as the presence of a totally nonjudgmental audience. If any of you are contemplating trying a new endeavor, let me invite you — no, urge you — to give it a shot, maybe even for the first time, before a room full of two-year-olds. They have no idea what to expect, and I promise, you will be better at it than they are. And whatever you create together, it will be praised to the heavens by a coterie of caretakers who are delighted and impressed that together you produced something, anything at all. Or simply say to yourself the things I would say to you if you were there for paper class. “We did it!” “ I see you!” “Good job!”

Tiny hot matchbox peppers, $5.00 a string, dried and quite decorative.
Acorn squash, $2/each
Decorative Tennessee Dancing Gourds, 4 for $1
Cheese Pumpkins, $2/lb, 5 to 8ish poundsEGGS: $5/dozMEATS: We keep some on hand, but it helps to order ahead in case we need to retrieve from our stash in the big commercial freezerGEESE: One remaining, about 8.5 lbs. $10/lb.ROASTING CHICKENS – Nice fat Freedom Rangers, frozen, largish (4 to 7 lbs, a few smaller), $6/lb.LAMB: Riblets $8/lb, small and larger leg roasts $14/lb,PORK: Loin pork chops, $12/lb (2 to a pack, btwn 1 and 1.5 lbs), Jowl (roughly 2 to 3 lbs each), $12/lb,
Spare ribs and country ribs $7/lb
baby back ribs $8/lb
fresh ham roasts (2 to 3 lbs), $12/lb
smoked bacon, $12/lb
Kielbasa $8/lbFARM PICKUPS:Email us your order at, and let us know when you’d like to pick up your order. It will be put out for you on the side screened porch of the farmhouse (110 Lasher Ave., Germantown) in a bag. You can leave cash or a check in the now famous pineapple on the porch table. Regular pickup times are Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., other days by arrangement. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call at 518-537-3815 or email.


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