By Roberta Bailey At the end of each year, I evaluate what I have grown and how I will shift strategies for the following growing season. If I had a bumper crop of tomatoes, and the larder is now flush with canned tomatoes and salsa, I know that I can grow fewer tomato plants in
By Roberta Bailey Lately the word currency has been rolling around with my thoughts. I like to think of money in terms of currency. A current is a flow of energy. In the case of money, it is compensation for human energy expended. We make products. We use our bodies and minds to complete tasks.
By Roberta Bailey The word “corn” denotes the staple grain of a region. In countries where wheaten bread is primarily eaten, wheat is their corn. In countries where rye is eaten most often, their corn is rye. In the Americas, our corn, our staple grain is maize. Maize is inextricably intertwined into our daily world.
By Roberta Bailey Every food has an optimal way for preserving it. Much of that depends on how you like to eat each food. Berries can be canned as jam or in syrup, made into juice, dried as leather or slices, or frozen in bulk. Greens are better frozen than dried or canned, but maybe
Celebrating Fall Flavor and History By Roberta Bailey Early last winter, a friend of mine told me about an ancient tree on the farm where she used to live. It was a Northern Spy apple tree. She said it was the old strain of Northern Spy, better than what seems to be around now. Her
By Roberta Bailey Some of my most vivid childhood memories pertain to butter: making butter in kindergarten, Pilot crackers (4-inch-round crackers with flavor similar to oyster crackers) spread with butter at my grandmother’s house, buttering my hands to form popcorn balls, and making scrambled eggs with butter in seventh grade home economics class (I had
By Holli Cederholm Gnocchi is one of my favorite celebratory meals. I usually only make this potato-based pasta a few times a year, but it’s always for a special occasion: the arrival of an ingredient that I haven’t cooked with since the last time it was in season. In the fall, I mix up a
By Roberta Bailey When I was first farming in Maine, I befriended as many elders in my small rural town as I could. My partner and I would visit them in their extraordinarily warm houses, we always remembered to dress in layers, and we would ask a steady flow of questions about how to do
By Roberta Bailey I remember a Christmas dinner where the relative who kept all her food from touching any other food on her plate sat next to one of my nieces, who proceeded to stir all her food together in a gravied whirlpool of mashed potatoes, peas, turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and yams. The isolationist