The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

My Haul at the Cambridge Farmer’s Market

May 20th, 2013 · 2 Comments · Posted in Blog, farming, Sustainability

Pastured pork chop, zesty greens, fresh asparagus

Pastured pork chop, zesty greens, fresh asparagus

The farmer’s market in Cambridge opened for the season in Railroad Park yesterday. They say  it’s the largest farmer’s market in Washington County. By D.C. standards, it’s rather small. Still, it’s not lacking. And the vendors are not just local farmers and artisans, they’re our neighbors. They all live and grow their food within a few miles radius.

What you see in the photo above is a sample from three different farms: pastured pork chop, spring greens with lots of arugula and perhaps the freshest asparagus I’ve ever tasted that wasn’t still standing in the field.

Not a big farmer's market, maybe, but potent

Not a big farmer’s market, maybe, but potent

Of particular interest to me was a young couple–Jared and Shannon Woodcock–who recently left a 10-acre property to start a bigger farm on 40 acres just a few miles south of us. Jared grew up on a small family homestead and studied ornithology. Shannon, originally from Nebraska, taught kindergarten. On their farm, called Taproots, they raise pastured pork, pastured chicken and duck, free-range eggs, pastured rabbit, organic vegetables, and, “coming soon,” grass-fed beef, raw milk and honey.

The couple notes in their brochure that “all of the work on the farm is done by hand.”

And they really mean by hand, because “we are currently retraining a small draft horse to help us out with the heavy work.”

“We want our children to have access to the healthiest food possible,”the couple says on their Facebook page, “and that means growing it ourselves”

I only wish I had started doing the same thing 30 years ago. But then, 30 years ago you would have had to be Amish to think of farming by hand. As far as sustainable farming goes, people like Jared and Shannon are the wave of the future. They could be models for us oldsters as well.

You can learn more about Taproots Farm at its Facebook page.

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  • Diane

    Ed, on our farm in Malta, we had to harvest asparagus three times a day, it grew so fast. We ate asparagus at almost every meal and had a freezer full. We LOVED it. Steve just started a patch here in our backyard. Lovely post today…enjoy!

  • Ed Bruske

    We want to have asparagus on our farm as well, Diane. I’m thinking we’ll have to lighten up the soil a little with some sand. Did you know the federal government is helping to put Michigan asparagus growers out of business? The U.S. subsidizes South American farmers to replace cocaine with other crops. One of the crops: asparagus. So Michigan farmers have to compete with cheaper asparagus from South America subsidized by U.S. So taxpayers. So now we have to subsidize U.S. asparagus growers as well.