Saturday, December 3, 2011

Giant Daikon

I was just out in the field and I found this giant daikon radish that was out there still!  Daikon and carrots for dinner tonight!  Unfortunately the picture I took to illustrate turned out a bit blurry, however, I still felt the need to share.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Real Pumpkin Pie, Not From the Can

This Thanksgiving I made a couple pumpkin pies with pumpkins from the farm.  It was a smashing sucess.  I am not a great recipe follower when it comes to flavoring pies and I tend to forget to write things down or measure.  So here is a recipe that I found, not the one I used.  I believe I used nutmeg and allspice.  And you can use honey or substitute brown sugar, though probably not is the same proportions.  For those of you with a Winter Produce Share you will find pumpkin in your December share.  Thanksgiving is not the only time to try making a pumpkin pie!   


Fresh Pumpkin Pie  


  • 1 medium sugar pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup honey, warmed slightly
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream


  1. Cut pumpkin in half, and remove seeds. Lightly oil the cut surface. Place cut side down on a jelly roll pan lined with foil and lightly oiled. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) until the flesh is tender when poked with a fork. Cool until just warm. Scrape the pumpkin flesh from the peel. Either mash, or puree in small batches in a blender.
  2. In large bowl, blend together 2 cups pumpkin puree, spices, and salt. Beat in eggs, honey, milk, and cream. Pour filling into pie shell.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees F ( 205 degrees C) for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a knife inserted 1 inch from edge of pie comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Harvest Days

The goal on the farm for the next couple weeks is to harvest everything that is still out there.  We have rows and rows of beets and carrots which we harvest and stack in our root cellar, storing them for the winter months.  There are also still cabbages and leeks in the field as well as the greens that are still showing up in the share.  Other than that much of the share is now being pulled out of the root cellar, instead of the ground.  The garlic in the share this week is strong in flavor and potency.  It was planted last November, harvested in July and left to dry in the barn since then.  Last week we cut all the garlic down and sorted it into groups.  The largest bulbs with the most cloves went in one bucket, to be separated into individual cloves and planted to grow more garlic.  Then we planted most of that garlic.  The rest of the bulbs were cut and placed in buckets to distribute to you all for the next couple weeks.  In the share this week we included sweet potatoes.  Sweet potatoes are a hot-climate crop and I was excited to embrace the challenge of growing them in a cool climate with a short growing season.  There are so many things that can be done with these little gems.  I am excited that they were such a success. 

Here on the farm we are harvesting and putting the farm to sleep.  We have one more week of CSA distribution for the main season.  We are all sold out of our Winter Vegetable and Egg Shares and are very excited about the Winter Shares.  If you are interested in a Winter Chicken Share or a Winter Meat Share and you have questions please let us know!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Winter Shares

Just a reminder that the deadline to sign up for the winter share AND receive a 5% discount is coming up on October 31st! 

Click here for a registration form and prices!

If you have any questions feel free to send me an email

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Look Back

About a year ago Kevin and I moved our farm here to this land that has become Groundworks Farm.  There was nothing here and we set about the task of building a farm, something that Kevin had done once before but on a smaller scale.  

First we spread manure, then we had the ground plowed and we planted cover crops of oats and rye.  We built the greenhouse next to our house, and planted garlic.  We made plans and reorganized the barn.  We built the cooler by our house.  We welcomed 11 piglets onto the farm.  We began to plan and map out the future of the farm and we went out seeking members, people to grow the food for.  

Then spring arrived and everything that had been a plan began to take real form.  Baby chicks arrived, and more pigs.  I spent hours, and days in the greenhouse, seeding tiny plants that would grow into tomato and eggplants, lettuce and kale, everything that you have received in your share for the past 5 months came from tiny seeds that I planted in the ground or into trays and then transplanted out into the fields.  June arrived and with the chance of a frost well behind us we raced to transplant all of the frost sensitive crops. From there on we weeded, harvested and cared for the vegetables all season.  Now the season is coming to a close and we are preparing the ground for another season.  We are turning in old crops, pulling up plants and planting cover crops.  As I write this, despite the encroaching darkness Kevin is out on the tractor, turning up ground that we grew on this year so we can plant cover crops on it and rejuvenate the land for future use.  The farm, which seemed a year ago like a piece of land, now feels like a living thing.  I understand so much more about it now than I did then.  I cannot even begin to think how much more this land can continue to teach us.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Frost on the Farm

These pretty little flowers survived two nights of frost
The frost finally arrived, blackening basil plants, leaving the flower garden a bit darker, and killing off several other things as well.  However, most crops affected by the frost were nearing the end of their lives anyway.  The tomatoes, already diseased and rotting, were already begging us to pull them out of the ground.  The eggplants have had a good solid run and we hope you have enjoyed them and found many ways to cook them. Prior to the frost we stripped the eggplant plants of their fruits as well as the peppers.  We covered some of the basil and brought out a large cover to protect the greens for the winter share, which are spring seedlings right now.  I woke in the morning to a frost covered world, but it seems to have come at a perfect time.  Now the air is crisp and the sun is shining.  The mosquitoes are nowhere to be seen.  Today we dug up sweet potatoes, beautiful treasures that have been hidden under the soil all summer.  Then we dug the celeriac, or celery root, and took it to the root cellar.  As I type this I can smell celery from the scent the plants left on my hands.  We continue to harvest and fill our root cellar with delicious storage crops for the late fall and winter.       

Friday, October 7, 2011

Potato Digging and Dreaming

Our main focus this week has been harvesting potatoes.  Back in May we planted the potatoes, making small holes in the ground and dropping in seed potatoes cut to the size of a golf ball.  These little pieces or potato sprout to form a plant and then many more potatoes below the ground. The rule of thumb is that you should yield about 10 lbs of potatoes for every pound that you plant.  We grew ours under plastic mulch for weed control and this week we pulled the mulch up, drove a tractor implement through which stirs up the ground and then we crawled through on our hands and knees digging up the potatoes.  There is a very simple machine, a potato harvester which will dig up the potatoes and lay them on the surface of the soil.  We have been dreaming about owning one this week as we crawled through the potatoes, yet the time was well spent. As we pulled back the soil and placed the potatoes on the surface we began to discuss plans for the future, what kind of farm we want to have, what we have done well this season, what we would like to change.  As we crawl along in the soil, watching the leaves slowly change colors and seeing the first geese make their way south, I found that while we would have spent less time with a fancy machine to do all the work, it is nice to have a good space for dreaming and it seems the potatoes are our dreaming space. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Frost Predictions and Winter Squash

This week has felt like a race against time.  Fall just keeps encroaching on us and finally we had to face it.  There were predictions or frosts for Friday evening and we had what I would call a pretty serious harvesting marathon.  We covered things with row cover, harvested tomatoes till dark and then harvested other things with flashlights.  It did not end up frosting and so this week we can all enjoy what may be the last of the frost sensitive crops.  This week we got all of our winter squash harvested and it is happily curing in the greenhouse as the temperature drops outside.  In the coming weeks we will continue to bring in produce from the fields and slowly put the farm to sleep. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Great Pig Escape of Irene

The past few weeks I have spent in a state of gratefulness and humility.  All around us we are seeing pictures of farms and homes throughout the region flooded and devastated.  Roads and bridges are gone and how long it will take to clean up is still to be seen.  I feel like I am in a very isolated bubble, a few miles from here, roads are washed out, buildings floated into the street and lives were lost.  But here at Groundworks Farm, it just looks like we have had a lot of rain.  There was no flooding in our fields and thanks to a great effort on Saturday and help from family and friends, nothing even blew away in the tropical storm that hit this area very hard.   

The day of the hurricane was spent preserving food in the house, checking on storm statuses and speculating what kind of damage might take place.  With all the hype about the storm I kept expecting something highly dramatic to happen.  I mostly expected to see damage as a result of wind as we experience quite strong winds on the farm in the wintertime.  Based on the lesson we learned earlier in the season, we were sure to stake down the laying hen house.  The storm was proving to be pretty disappointing in its dramatics, which was fine with me.  We didn’t even manage to loose power.  Kevin was out early tending to the animals before the wind and rain picked up and it seemed all there was to do was wait things out, which in our world meant making lots of pickles. 

We were in the kitchen filling canning jars when Kevin got a call on his phone.  “The pigs are out Kevin, did you know that?”  I overheard and dropped what I was doing and began to pull on my boots and rain gear, next a knock on the door, it was the town fire truck.  “Do you know you got some pigs running around?”  My parents were here visiting and my dad turned to me and said “You need some help with something?”  Kevin, my Dad and I all rushed out to the truck and drove down the road to see two of our wonderful neighbors, out in their rain gear in the brutal storm chasing after at least 20 pigs.  The pigs saw the truck driving toward them and I can only imagine that they thought two things.  1) Oh! Look there’s the truck that brings us food! Let’s follow it! and 2) Oh No!  They know we got out! Maybe we should go back home.  I was riding in the back of the truck armed with a large bucket of eggs.  One thing we have come to learn is that pigs absolutely go crazy over eggs and so if we ever need to get them to do something a bucket full of eggs is a valuable asset to have on hand.  Throwing eggs their way we drove into the woods and away from the fields.  The pigs thankfully followed.  Kevin drove the truck through the woods and into their fenced area which they had knocked down.  The pigs followed and with a little more herding we were able to get them back where they were supposed to be.  It turns out their food had gotten wet and they had gotten bored and decided to go see what else was happening around the farm.  Gratefully neither they, nor the storm managed to do any real damage to the farm.  I feel very grateful that this was the extent of our run in with the storm.  And now the farm is looking sunny and untouched by the extreme weather.      

Not all farms in our area have had such luck.  The Vermont Community Foundation is contributing funds for farm disaster relief to farmers effected by Hurricane Irene.  One farm in particular which has been hard hit is Evening Song Farm.  There are ways to donate to them specifically.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Winter CSA Shares Available NOW!

Groundworks Farm Winter Farm Shares-Available NOW!
We are excited to announce that Winter CSA Shares are now for sale! 

The Winter Share will go from December through March with 4 monthly pick ups. 
There are four different farm share options to choose from whether you are interested in just veggies and eggs, just meat, or perhaps a whole farm share including vegetables, eggs, chicken, pork, beef and lamb.  The brochure and registration form are attached so you can take a look at more details of the share.  There are a limited number of shares and they will fill up so sign up early! 

There are four different pick up locations.  You can pick up your share in Cambridge, MA, On the Farm in Pittsford, VT, in Hebron, NH or in Middlebury, VT.

It will be a lot of good eating this winter with good, real farm fresh food.
Pay in full by October 31st and get 5% off the price of the share!

If you have any questions about the Winter Share please e-mail or give us a call at 802-310-4951 or 703-347-2448.

The Vegetable and Egg Share includes storage crops and hearty greens.  It also includes pickles, eggs and frozen veggies!

Opt for a Chicken or meat share or both!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Groundworks Farm on the Chanel 3 News

Click here to watch Margaret on the Chanel 3 News

A few weeks ago I was on the local evening news for a story about the farm and the growth of CSA farms in the area.  Check it out!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Beet Greens and Happy Pigs

This week with the help of Kevin’s parents we were able to thin all of the storage beets.  When I planted the beets, back in early July I seeded them very close together.  This was to ensure that they would come up and there would be enough of them and we would not be left with open areas of fertile ground with nothing growing.  Well, I went a little bit overboard and the beets were VERY close together and there were a lot of them.  They were so close together in some places that there was no hope that they would ever be able to grow nice and big for winter storage.  Solution: Thinning.  With ten long beds of beets to thin this was definitely a race to the finish and we won the race!  At 6pm on Thursady all the beets were thinned and we stood looking at these massive piles of beets at the edge of the fields.  

Unloading Beets
Now we had two options.  We could leave the piles there at the edge of the field where they would break down over time or we could take a trip down to the pigs and give them a special treat: 2 truckloads full of beets and beet greens!  The latter seemed like a pretty good idea to us.  So we loaded up the truck with the beets and drove it down to the field where the pigs are.  Now how long does it for 30 pigs to eat 2 truckloads of beets?  I’m pretty sure it was less than 12 hours, but they enjoyed the special treat and we had fun giving it to them.  Having a diversified farm means not specializing in one specific thing but instead creating a whole system which works well together.  

We are not beet farmers or pig farmers or any other specialization.  Instead we work to create a system where everything we raise is able to benefit everything else and work together.  The pigs are now turning up future vegetable land, exposing grass roots and leaving us with less weed pressure in future years.  The pigs eat a ton of beet greens pulled out of the field.   The pigs do a lot of good work for us on the farm, turning ground, fertilizing and making sure nothing goes to waste (they love kale, especially the tuscano variety.)  The meat chickens improve pasture land, enriching the soil, even noticeably deepening the color of the grass.  The egg layers as well, move through pasture, eating up grass and bugs and leaving behind fertility.  The vegetables and the animals on the farm all work together to enrich us with good nutritious food to eat.        

Happy Pigs

Friday, July 8, 2011

Groundworks Farm on VPR

Last Saturday an article about Rutland area farms was aired on VPR.  Groundworks Farm was part of the story as well as Hathaway Farm, a local grass fed beef producer.

Click Here to read and listen to the story!