Food for a Year: April 17-May 1

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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: April 17-May 1

I anticipate the coming month will be the most limited of my entire year of eating exclusively home-grown. My cellar still has a lot of roots in it, but a few things are now gone. I’m out of potatoes and celery root. I’m running low on carrots. Below I have a four-day food log I kept to demonstrate the lack of variety. I get a lot of my daily needs from rutabaga, squash, beef and pork. I’m almost out of squash too…


Breakfast: 4 ounces of bacon. 8 ounces of squash. 12 ounces of rutabaga.

Lunch: 3 pounds of beef/pork stew with a thick broth, moderate chunks of meat and carrots, parsnips, and rutabaga. 1 pound of applesauce with 2 tablspoons maple syrup on top (the applesauce is quite tart).

Dinner:  Morsels of pork while I cooked. 6.5 ounces of caramelized onion with dandelion root and greens. 11.5 ounces of ham. 12 ounces of squash. 8 ounces of applesauce with 1 ounce blueberries and 2 tablespoons maple syrup.


Breakfast: 21 ounces of squash. 1.5 ounces of bacon. 3 eggs.

Lunch: 2 pounds of pork head stew with rutabaga chunks stirred in. 5 ounces blueberries.

Snack: 4 ounces of raw jerusalem artichoke and 1 ounce of carrot.

Dinner: 11 ounces of pork steak. 8 ounces of caramelized onion and dandelion greens. 13 ounces of squash.


Breakfast: 2 ounces of ham drippings. 2.5 ounces of rutabaga. 15 ounces of squash. 7 ounces of pork steak.

Lunch: 1.5 pounds of head stew. 3.5 ounces of onion and dandelion greens. 11 ounces of rutabaga.

Dinner: 10 ounces of carrots, parsnips and beets. 11 ounces of ground beef heavy with onions. 5 ounces of blueberries with 1 tablespoon of maple syrup over them.


Breakfast: 4 ounces of sausage. 13 ounces of rutabaga. 2 pumpkin pancakes (2 ounces pumpkin powder mixed with 4 eggs). Unweighed amount of maple syrup poured over the pancakes.

Lunch: 2 pounds of head stew mixed with rutabaga.

Dinner: 12 ounces of stir-fry of beef, ramps and parsnips. 12 ounces of beets.

Yes, I did eat stew every lunch all four days. I thought of going on for a whole week, but I doubt there’d be much variation on the trends that are already evident here. I have some kale in the garden that over wintered. A substantial serving of greens in the next week or two will help to blunt the dismay over the depletion of a few of my winter staples. By sometime in June I’ll start getting fresh roots out of the garden and then I’ll be in for a nice long stretch of increasing variety and flavors… but until then, the above four days show what I’ll be eating. –Edmund

Brothers 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 Normandy Alden

1 thought on “Food for a Year: April 17-May 1”

  1. Pingback: Food for a Year: May 1-May 16 | Edible Finger Lakes | Edible Finger Lakes

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