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: October 1-17
Despite the long, warm fall we’ve been having here on the farm, winter is clearly on the way. Even if we’re not having frost every night yet, a couple nights ago the thermometer read 18 degrees first thing in the morning. All the leaves are off the trees, and it’s time to think about moving all of the storage crops into the root cellar.
The garden has not produced quite the same bounty this year as last. This is partly by design—I won’t be so reliant on stored roots once 2015 is over—and it is partly a product of neglect. It’s been such a busy summer that I haven’t been nearly as on top of planting and weeding as last year.
The onions are dried down and packed in burlap bags on the porch (I fear the recent cold might have damaged some of them) and the squash is all safely inside. But there are crates upon crates of potatoes, carrots, beets and rutabagas, that we have yet to dig and pack away. It’s good timing, because the 40 gallons of cider has just finished fermenting, meaning I can now start cooling down the root cellar in earnest.
The pigs have moved into their hoop houses for the winter, though the cows and sheep are still out on pasture, where they will remain for at least another month, and hopefully longer. The chickens are eating more feed, and their egg production is starting to drop. I was going to put a light on them, but it looks to me like they are thinking about molting, so I may have to wait on that.
In my rush to get everything buttoned up around the farm I rarely remember that in only a couple months my experiment in dietary self-sufficiency will be at an end. Perhaps there will be more time to reflect once the real cold arrives and the days get even shorter. –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.
Photos by Garth Brown