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: September 1-17
To me, apple trees heavy with ripening fruit are the quintessential sign of the start of the harvest season. Unfortunately, they are not the most reliable; a few years back an early frost killed off all the blossoms in the spring, leading to a fall with almost no fruit. The next fall gave us a bumper crop, but as a result last year, though the weather was fine, there was little fruit to be had. Left to their own devices apple trees, particularly the feral varieties we have around the farm, have a tendency to bear biennially, meaning they’ll give a lot of fruit one season only to take the next one off.
Luckily, this year is shaping up to be a good one. Most every tree around is covered in fruit, and the heat we’ve been having lately, longer into fall than usual, has helped with ripening. A lot of this fruit is too tart or too tannic for good eating or cooking, but these apples make the best hard cider. It would have been nice to have a few bottles put away for the past year, but if we start making it now it should at least be ready by New Year’s Eve. –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 Garth Brown