Meet Your Vegetables!
A few years ago when my family became members at Holcomb Farm we discovered a new vocabulary of vegetables: rutabaga, kohlrabi, swiss chard. Each week we took home not just a share of vegetables but a lesson plan. We learned about beets' edible greens, what time of year to expect arugula, and that new standby kale soup recipe. On a sunny August day, the Media Lab traveled to Holcomb Farm in West Granby. As I tried to capture their story, I heard my own narrative echoed back many times over. For all the members interviewed, joining the Community Supported Agriculture program had been a metamorphosis. It changes how members eat, how they think about food, how they expect a tomato to taste.
Touring the farm, I delighted in seeing where that transformative produce comes from--from the tomato hoophouse, to beds of cabbage, and even seedlings still waiting to be planted. We watched as members flocked to the pick-your-own fields for everything from green beans to raspberries. We also, however, saw parts of the farm that don't fit in my canvas tote bag: The farm's history stretches back to 1719. The sprawling 367 acre grounds include an extensive trail system open to the public. The farm further makes a concerted effort to reach beyond itself, supplying fresh pesticide-free produce to people in need through its Fresh Access program.
The day, like our weekly bag of produce, was full of unexpected delights. I rode on a truck bed, picked a sunflower, and tasted cabbage still sandy from the field.
Cooked carrots are my favorite vegetable, but that cabbage is a close second.
- Molly FitzMaurice