Local, sustainable produce, and my friend Jessica Foote
"Jessica has been the star of my summer. Getting my vegetables from her further reinforces the value and quality of food close to home."
I met Jessica Foote at a farmers market. She had a giant table full of vegetables and the lettuce was so full it made a screen so you could barely see the people in behind. I had an event and was short salad greens. A woman with wild curly hair popped out and explained her various greens to me with great enthusiasm. She sold me two huge bags. I got her card and realized her organic vegetable farm, Lunar Rhythm Gardens was basically around the corner from South Pond.
Jessica is one of the hardest working people I know. She tills the 10 acres by horse and plough and grows a large variety of organic vegetables. She offers a CSA farm share which is a great way for people to buy directly from a farmer. Typically, a farmer offers a certain number of "shares" to the public. The memberships or shares are vegetable “boxes” but may also contain other farm products like honey, meat, flowers. The benefits for the consumer is that they get a basket of fresh vegetables throughout the season and the farmer gets money up front which helps cash flow.
Jessica supplies South Pond with a great variety of fresh vegetables: salad greens, onions, squash, carrots, celery and celeriac. Most all of the vegetables that we use are from Jessica. She or one of her workers deliver them in the early morning hours. Usually I’m working in the kitchen when she arrives and her voice and always cheerful disposition is contagious. She reminds me of a child at Christmas - she is so excited by what her garden has produced and is proud to share it with a booming voice and a belly laugh.
I visited her garden this fall with our Taste of the Country TV crew in tow. Her energy, the magnitude of the work in front of her every day was astounding. She had new sweet potatoes in dozens of rows, her new storage house full of onions, a field of squash catching the last rays of sun, kohlrabi, rows of herbs and flowers. I wanted to weep seeing how much work she had still to do and the day for me was almost over. Jessica has been the star of my summer, getting to know her and her farm and being at the receiving end of her pride and joy - her bounty. Getting my vegetables from her further reinforces the value and quality of food close to home. Jessica’s produce is a joy to use and is well worth it. Not to mention we support our neighbours and our farming community, working hard on their land in any kind of weather to ultimately bring to market freshness and beauty.