A Visit to Chubby Bunny

August 10, 2010 at 7:40 am | Posted in community, CSA's, farming | Leave a comment

Last Thursday, the Adamahniks took a field trip. Down the road a few miles lies Chubby Bunny farm, a 50-acre property owned by Dan and Tracy. The fields stretch out all the way to the tree line, and aside from the two enormous milking cows who greeted us as we walked down the dirt driveway, Dan and Tracy focused their attention on vegetables.

Here’s an inspiring story. Dan grew up near here, went to university, and only started farming after that. Dan had always thought that you had to be born a farmer to be a farmer, so Dan’s current job represents a kind of miracle of achievement. Dan and Tracy apprenticed on farms for five years before purchasing their own property, and they now sustain themselves and two children through vegetables.

Amazing, no? They plant 10 acres a year and sell in 3 CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture partnerships), and through these markets are able to pay several apprentices. We partner with them in our White Plains CSA, and they also have a local CSA and some regular customers in Manhattan.

I had never realized the importance of CSA’s. A group of families commits to purchasing a season’s worth of vegetables, which gives Dan and Tracy the security to invest in their land and grow. And when, like last year, an entire vegetable goes bad (all the tomatoes, in this case), the personal relationships the farmers have developed with the clients ensures the business can keep functioning, everybody a little disappointed and very understanding.

I had no idea how much brainpower it takes to farm! I had always learned about farming as a kind of dumb profession, a place for poor peasants to scrape by a living. Dan’s intelligence and forethought stomped away that idea like a patty in a pig pen. Am I considering the psychological impact of the lengths of my rows of veggies? Have I used the scientific method to experiment with seed densities in bio-intensive farming? Can I keep track of 60 different seeding dates, transplanting dates, weeding and harvest dates, to ensure a steady harvest for my customers from now through November?

I feel blessed that our farm at ADAMAH has such close relations with such an exemplary farm. Dan and Tracy taught me something profound about how to “Oseh Ma’asei V’reishit,” to do the works of creation, to partner with God in a healthy and sustainable way.

And what would a blog post about food be without a recipe? Here’s a very simple and incredibly delicious one.

Ingredients:
Local Garlic
Local Fresh Onion (uncured)
Local Basil
Local Tomatoes

Chop up all the ingredients in whatever size you like. Heat a pan on the stove and add the ingredients. Simmer for 20 minutes and become overwhelmed with the smell. Serve on pasta, or give in to your resistance and eat fresh spoonfuls from the pan. Yum.

Submitted by Jacob Siegel, Adamah 2010 Fellow

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