Being Raised the Natural Way, Lobsters and Venison Included

I always liked spending time with my father when I was young, the bench seat in the red Dodge Ram always felt so big and comfortable.

Mushrooms, Rich and Meaty, Are Popping Up on the Island

Mushrooms are the richest and meatiest food I know of outside the animal kingdom. In the past few weeks, following a number of torrential rainstorms, mushrooms have begun popping up everywhere on the Island. On a visit to a friend’s house off of Middle Road two weeks ago, friends and I stumbled upon a yard filled with chanterelle mushrooms and the black trumpet variety. We harvested the chanterelles first that day from underneath a maple tree, leaving the black trumpets to grow larger.

Respect for Crop Is the Main Ingredient

My dad grows the best tomatoes. He drops them off for me in fruit boxes with padding in the bottom, treating them like soft-bottomed aristocrats riding into the farm on a horse-drawn chariot. The tomatoes do not touch one another and sit with their shoulders proud. The round ridge on the top of the tomato surrounding the base of its stem is known as the shoulder and is Mario Batali’s favorite part (they look like shoulders when examined closely; after having that image planted in your head, try it). Not all the tomatoes he brings me look perfect.

Chowder Queen; Mirin Lies the Difference

My Aunt Marie turned 70 this past August. She is still slender, young in most every way and very strong. To celebrate we roasted a whole pig her son Josh had raised on a spit and had a celebration on the farm. The pig was the centerpiece, with all guests and family members contributing to an epic potluck meal eaten at picnic tables placed where my grandfather’s butterfly weed had bloomed only weeks before. My father documented the whole thing and took a picture of a young, blonde cousin inspecting the head of the hog.

From Hutch to Table a Short Hop

Our rabbits live in little cages made out of different odds and ends left around the farm. We have four cages with chicken wire covering the bottom to keep them from burrowing their way to freedom. They are placed in our fields over our spent crops with the idea that the bunnies will clean up our old greens and weeds, digest them and then fertilize our soil with their manure. One cage was built by my father for my sister Molly when she brought home three wild bunnies she had found that were abandoned by their mother.