On the farm, life is growing!
Our strawberry popcorn, Arikara beans, and Tiger Eyes beans are loving the rains and the hot sun.
And our long-awaited pigs have arrived! These American Guinea Hogs will eat our kitchen scraps and leftovers – no waste is a beautiful thing.
Featured on the menu from our farm, we have our crisp delicious salad greens, fresh thyme in the very popular Herb Tartine, and garlic scape pesto is back! Last summer’s very popular Scapegoat sandwich will be back this week, and I know many of you, like us, have been waiting for its return. Our Strawberry Smoothies are still cold and delectable on these hot days,and the popular Whole Wheat Miche bread is back, Thursday – Sundays.
We will be closed for July 4th – have a safe and happy holiday, and we look forward to seeing you soon!
Yours in nourishing and local foods,
Adrie, Ben, & the Wheatberry Family
Strawberry Summer Smoothies are here! This is a personal favorite of ours – we make a lot of smoothies at home and we’re so delighted to be able to share them with you. Made with organic strawberries from Red Fire Farm and Maple Yogurt from Sidehill Farm, this smoothie is delicious and so refreshing on a hot day!
Are you following us on Facebook? We have a Wheatberry page and a Pioneer Valley Heritage Grain page - click on the “Like” button and get updates and photos and the behind the scenes scoop!
Speaking of updates, we finished our Three Sisters field planting. We’re planting Strawberry Popcorn, assorted heirloom winter squash (hello next fall’s Squash Brownie Cupcakes!), and assorted heirloom dried beans, including these beautiful Tiger Eye beans. You can see photos from our last Three Sisters planting here - quite a jungle! If we grow enough popcorn, we’ll include it in this year’s grain shares. (And yes, 2012 shares are available now!)
June Lunch Menu
Herbes de Provence Salad – Wheatberry Farm organic salad greens, Chestnut Farms (MA) herbed chicken, grated carrots, and our house vinaigrette. 9.50
Wheatberry Farm Plate (v) – Wheatberry Farm organic salad greens, Berkshire Blue cheese (MA), our homemade apple chutney, and our own toasted organic Country French bread. 9.00
Garden Salad (v) – Wheatberry Farm organic salad greens, grated carrots, and our house vinaigrette. 7.50
served with a slice of our organic Country French bread
Chicken Broth with Vegetables – Our own nourishing, delicious chicken broth made from local pasture-raised chickens, with organic onions, carrots, and herbs. A light but filling soup. cup 4.25 bowl 7.00
Hearty Black Bean Soup (v)- Organic black beans (Cayuga Organics, NY), simmered with organic tomato paste, carrots, onions, and celery.
Served with Wheatberry Farm organic mixed greens &
housemade pickled organic vegetables
Chutney Chase (v) – Organic Chase Hill Farm cheese (MA) and our homemade apple chutney, grilled to perfection on our organic Country French bread. 8.75
Chase Hill Grill (v) – Organic Chase Hill Farm cheese (MA) grilled to perfection on our organic Country French bread. 7.50
Roy’s Burger- Lolly Laggie Farm (MA) 100% organic grass-fed quarter pound burger, on our organic Country French bread. 9.00 add: Chase Hill cheese 1.00
Bluegrass Burger – Roy’s Burger, plus organic caramelized onions and Berkshire Blue Cheese (MA). 11.00
Bodacious Beet Tartine (v) – Red Fire Farm (MA) roasted organic beets, pickled onions, organic Chase Hill Farm cheese (MA), on our organic Country French bread. 7.75
Holy Heifer- Chestnut Farms brisket (MA) with organic Chase Hill Farm cheese and Real Pickles organic sauerkraut, grilled on our Country French bread. 9.50
Cheshire Chicken – Chestnut Farms chicken (MA) with organic Chase Hill Farm cheese, organic greens, and Cheshire Gardens mustard grilled on our organic Country French bread. 10.25
(v) = vegetarian
This is the perfect week to plant your Three Sisters (just like we’ll be doing up in Shutesbury!) – winter squash, corn, and beans. These three plants form a beautiful partnership when planted together, and we’re excited to once again grow enough squash to keep us stocked with Butternut Squash Soup and Butternut Chocolate Brownies all winter long. Since we want you to join in the fun, we’re offering 25% off all our seeds this week and next week!
At Wheatberry, we’ve got some delicious spring specials here for a limited time – croissants filled with rhubarb filling, and incredibly fresh scrumptious salad greens, and a very special delicious Potato-Sorrel Soup, made with organic Red Fire Farm potatoes and our own organic sorrel. Sorrel is a spring green with a tangy, lemony flavor which makes this soup a tasty twist on the traditional Potato-Leek (vichyssoise), good both hot and cold.
Pioneer Valley Heritage Grain CSA shares are open for the 2012 season – check out localgrain.org for more info and to sign up. At home, we’ve been cooking some really delicious new dishes that we’re excited to share soon, including Jambaryea, and an Oat Groat-Spring Pea Salad. As you can see, Gabriel is hoping he gets to dive into the big kid food really soon.
Have a great week, and we’ll see you soon!
Yours in nourishing foods,
Adrie, Ben, & the Wheatberry family
Spring days get pretty crazy around here. May is one of our busiest months of the year at Wheatberry, and also a busy time on the farm, of course. In our town, May is just the beginning of being able to put plants outside, not to mention all the field prep to be done, and fencing repairs/building, and the fruit trees to be planted. I love planting fruit trees. I think that might be my absolute favorite farm job – one thirty minute planting session that can result in generations of fruit is pretty hard to beat. (Yes, there’s watering and pruning and fertilizing to do, but still, it’s nothing compared with the attention and time that annuals require.)
Anyhow, I wanted to start doing a bit of a farm tour. The first photo is our front field – it’s about 1/8 of an acre just to the left of our driveway, and was the first spot we turned into gardens when we moved here. The tree stump in the middle was a catalpa tree that we took down, and the rest was lawn. Along the fence, next to the driveway, we’ve been planting cherry trees and pear trees. When we fierst started gardening here, we planted raspberries in the middle of the garden (why oh why?) and this spring we moved them along the fence line, where they’ll get more sun, be easier to pick, and not be in the middle of the garden! We also had someone come pull out the catalpa stump, so now there is truly an open field here.
And here’s our “backyard.” This is the yard just outside our back door, beyond which is the horse and sheep paddock. On this day, we’d let them into our yard to do some lawn mowing (i.e. grazing). Just outside our door we finally got some outdoor chairs made by a lovely fellow in Vermont, and on the hill is the hoophouse we put up two years ago, and more fruit trees (on the north side of the hoophouse): two peach trees, two apples, and a cranberry bush. The trees have fencing to help keep the animals off when they’re in here grazing, since they ate our previous two peach trees. The funny looking sticks dangling off the apple tree are weights to help the main branches grow out perpendicular.
Sometimes it feels as though our progress here is so, so slow. But sometimes I see it, how we’ve shaped this land back into a farm. Fifty years ago, this land was cleared farmland. When we moved here, this backyard (And most of the rest of the property) was new growth forest, brambles, and undergrowth. The sheep and horse did an amazing job clearing the undergrowth here.
The other night, I came downstairs from putting the little ones to sleep and found Ben outside in the horse paddock, putting up a new fence. “I had a vision for the pig pen,” he said. “Put on your boots; it’s beautiful out here.” So I put on my boots and my farm pants and sweater, and went out into the twilight to put up a new fence with him. He was right, it was beautiful, and we talked while we worked about how good this life is, this work that we are blessed to do.
Blessings on your on good work, friends.
It’s 6 am, and I’m out to the hoophouse to harvest today’s salad greens, parsley for the Herb Tartine, and sorrel for next week’s Potato Sorrel Soup.
On Tuesday evening, the littlest baker and I went to a Sustainable Living class at UMass and gave an hour-long talk about running a sustainable business, local food security, and all things yummy. I didn’t realize until I was on my way that it was a class of 300, lol. It was great fun, and hopefully we passed on the good word about organic vs conventional food and the challenges of running a sustainable business in a world focused primarily on making money no matter what the true cost.
Have you started your seeds yet? Time to plant tomatoes (indoors) and get your pea seeds in the ground! We’re dreaming of how one day these little tomato seeds will be big, juicy tomatoes on our grilled sandwiches. Oh, so yummy . . .
Speaking of beginnings, it’s hard to believe that we’ve gone from these first trial wheat fields, to working with a group of local farmers to bring over 10,000 pounds of local grains to your tables! Signups for the 2012 CSA shares are now open.
From our farm . . .
to your plate.
Sometimes, we imagine that our customers must wonder, why grow vegetables ourselves, when we can (and do) buy such wonderful organic, local produce? We are amazingly blessed here in the Pioneer Valley with so many incredible growers.
The reason we grow our own as much as possible is because everything we’ve grown here has an intense vitality, freshness, and flavor, like no other food we’ve experienced.
No farm as small as ours wholesales, and food grown on such a small scale, with so much care, has a very noticeably better flavor and nutrient quality. In the past few years, we’ve grown 5-10% of the vegetables used at the bakery. In future years, we hope to grow more. Our own milk-fed lamb has been blowing our minds here at home, and we hope soon to share it with you. From salad greens, heirloom tomatoes, and heirloom squash, we are so excited to start growing our own Wheatberry lamb, pork, and beef in the coming years. We know you’ll taste the difference, too.