Spinella Farm

  (Waterford Works, New Jersey)
Life on a 100-year-old market farm
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Thoughts for Thursday, June 19, 2014

Dad and Anna were off this morning to Margate to open up the tail gate market there. It was threatening rain which we had gotten some of earlier in the day. But I think it will hold off for the morning which will help them. Margate can be very busy. The first day is usually hectic as all of the residents and vacationers have a pent up desire to buy fresh local food and so they come out in numbers. While I would like to be there with them, I have a few more days in the classroom to close out the year.

On the way to school this morning, I noticed that the mulberries are dropping off the trees. This is a sign of some delicious eating ahead. I love this time of year not only for the cultivated food we eat but the wild bounty that nature brings. Mulberries darken your mouth and if you eat them just right, they release a nice burst of natural sugar from their fruit. But you have to fight the birds off for the natural delicacies!

I like to take a few minutes and lick the nectar from the honey suckle flowers. When I was a boy, this was a rite of passage into summer. Again, there is not much so you need to enjoy every morsel you can taste. It is a lot of work for the honey suckle but it is worth it.

I recently asked someone at the Rancocas Nature Conservancy about a wild food festival. She loved the idea. The park, which is owned by Burlington County, holds a lot of different native foods. But the county is a little hesitant to have people walking about eating wild plants, some of which may give you a tummy ache. Anyway, I pitched the idea that professionals come in and harvest and that us mere mortals eat what is already prepared. Then they could give us a seminar on how to pick and prepare the wild food.

Interestingly, our farmers markets do not have one vendor who sells or prepares wild foods for sale. That gives me an idea for some day . . . 

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