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Food for a Year: June 1-16

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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: June 1-16

Though I am still relying largely on last year’s crop of root vegetables, the garden is finally getting up to speed. Soon I’ll be onto fresh beets and rutabagas and not so long after that, early potatoes. But the biggest success so far has been the greenhouse.

I built a 12-by-16-foot hoop house four years ago, and I’ve used it for starting plants ever since. I’ve also brooded chickens and turkeys in it, and one summer it served as a goose house, but I always intended to use it for raising tomatoes and other heat-loving veggies. I finally got around to moving nearer the garden, and I’ve managed to mostly keep the grass and weeds at bay, despite the fact that the site on which it sits was virgin sod a few months ago.

I’ve never grown truly exceptional tomatoes in the past, a fact I largely ascribe to the cool summers on the farm. (Of course, this means the cabbages do wonderfully, but I’d like the best of both worlds.) Despite their late start, the tomatoes look quite vigorous, though it will be another two weeks before the first sun golds are ripe.

I’m also trying out melons and peppers, so hopefully I’ll have some welcome additions to my diet as summer progresses. –Garth

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 Alanna Rose

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