Allyson Angelini is not only one of our local farmers, she is a client! ATTC is catering her wedding this summer using meat and produce grown on her own farm in Ledyard, CT Full Heart Farm. Continue reading to learn about the busy springtime on the farm.
Incorporating local, seasonal foods into event menus is very chic right now – and with good reason. Local foods are often more fresh and flavorful. They help to support a more environmentally friendly way of eating, as well as the local economy. Foods that travel directly from sustainable, family farms to your table can make a meal special.
Eating seasonal foods, however, requires an understanding of what’s happening on farms at different times of the year (visit http://buyctgrown.com/inseason for a list of all of the delicious foods grown in CT!). Right now in southeastern CT, we’ve had a chilly spring. Just this past week fruit trees started to blossom, asparagus started poking out of the ground, and grass-fed cattle were sent out to graze pastures for the first time.
At our farm, Full Heart Farm, in Ledyard, CT, spring is a busy season and the cold weather has made for cramped living conditions. For several weeks we had 50 baby chicks (our future egg layers) living in our laundry room until they grew enough feathers to stay warm inside the drafty barn. Now that the weather has begun to warm up, our 100 laying hens are outside sunbathing, grazing on early season grasses, and laying eggs with bright orange yolks. Our first batch of meat chickens moved outside this week as well, which means we’ll be enjoying fresh chicken in just a few weeks and throughout the summer and fall.
Our eight piglets just turned 5 months old and are as busy as ever, rooting around in the woods, wallowing in mud, and running around just being pigs. They spent the winter months destroying many invasive plant species that were taking over the farm (such as briars and bittersweet), and now they recycle scraps and weeds from the garden and convert them into pork.
Our unheated greenhouse (or high tunnel) is full of salad mix, lettuce, kale, spring onions, and carrots: cold-hardy crops that can get a jump-start under the cover of plastic. In the fields we have planted peas, potatoes, carrots, beets, radishes, cabbage, kale, and more. But the majority of our crops still reside in our dining room, under the protective glow of grow lights and without concern of fluctuating temperature. Some of the stars of summer – tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers – will stay inside until the end of May, after the danger of a frost has passed.
In another couple of months, the harvest season will be in full swing. Planting will continue through early August, in order to ensure we have greens and other fall veggies to harvest well into November. Soon farmers’ markets and farm stands will be starting up again and CT grown food will be bountiful, but until then there are a lot of CT grown products that are available all year round – meats, seafood, dairy, and even produce. Support local farms today!