On Cairncest Farm in Plainfield, two brothers, Edmund and Garth Brown, have resolved to eat only what they raise/grow/forage/hunt themselves for an entire year. Edible Finger Lakes is carrying biweekly updates from the Brown brothers as they embark on this food journey.
Food for a Year: February 1-16
The restrictions of a homegrown diet and the ceaseless cold have both been getting monotonous. The only thing that makes the lack of variety in my diet and the weather tolerable is the knowledge that change is not too far off. Hard as it is to believe as I sit here writing this with a daytime high temperature in the low single digits, in another month it will be time to start many of the seedlings for the garden. The first few pigs will also be ready for slaughter, and not too long after that ramps will appear in the forest and cows will be on new, green pasture.
As excited as I am for this change, I am also a bit worried about how to manage the food supplies during the transition from last year’s stored crop to the new beets, turnips and carrots of spring. The root cellar has maintained the quality of these staples as well as I ever hoped, but when the weather warms their quality will inevitably deteriorate. Ed mentioned this concern in his last post, and we even bartered for a bag of oats in case it’s needed, but so far we haven’t figured out an efficient way to hull them.
For the first month or so I found each meal, taken on its own, immensely enjoyable. It was only when I considered the prospect of relying on the same food choices for months to come that I would get nervous. But, as I suggested at the beginning of this post, over the past two weeks this dynamic has shifted. I still enjoy my meals for the most part, but increasingly they are made tolerable by the idea that I will not be stuck to the same few foods for all that much longer. –GarthBrothers Edmund and Garth Brown are owner-operators of Cairncrest Farm in Plainfield, New York. They produce and sell grass-fed beef and pastured pork. They blog about their 2015 homegrown challenge here. Read the last Food for a Year post here. Photo by Alanna Rose