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raindrops keep falling on my head

for the first time in what feels like forever a substantial rain has fallen.  in mid summer it seemed like the rain would never stop, and then just in time to get what we wished for, it hasn’t rained since.

bed rows at the vegetable farm are cracked over and crusty.  pork chop hill has a dust cloud swirling over head.  and the grass.  well, let’s just call it thirsty.

all day today, the crack pop of thunder and the drip drap of rain lulled the town to a hushed pace—singing lullabies with the wind and painting the sky a heavy grey.

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georgia skies

one second i was stopping to admire all the good last night and today’s rain was accomplishing…

…and the next second, i was drowning in it.  me, the dog, and the cows—us three just got annihilated by the georgia skies.  


Aunt Tammy

after berkeley gave birth last week, our herd matriarch, the prehistorically sized tammy, began acting a bit awry.  the hormones in the air kicked her maternal instincts into high gear, and she has been keeping a close watch on the babies.

an extremely.  close.  watch.

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i couldn’t stop and marvel at this ambitious fella.  i came across this bloated spider wrapping up a pretty thick grasshopper like it aint’ no thang. 

what a go getter!


see ehn en

the three years before i began farming i was working on the floor of the new york stock exchange.  through the collapse of lehman brothers, the recession, the bail out—you know the story—i was working in the belly of the beast.  with my tie pulled tight i’d dodge reporters and protesters on my way past the security that surrounded the historic building.  cnbc filmed fifteen feet away from where i was working, all day every day.  on the closing bell, each day at four, the intrusive shine of a spotlight would hit me from the side as a camera man walked by, cruising for stock footage of monkeys slamming keys. 

after all this hooplah, i had to move to rural georgia and work on a farm to be interviewed by cnn.  amusing, no?


today we were visited on the farm by cnn editor/producer wes.  coincidentally, as completely random, not at all pre-meditated, totally innocent luck will have it, i just happened to be wearing a freshly pressed imhighoncooking t-shirt for the shoot. 

wes is doing a piece on farm burger, farm255’s sister restaurant in decatur (atl), and he came to film us out on fowler farm, doing what we do best.  contrary to what you may expect, he’s no company hack, sent out to film whatever the big wigs tell him to.  he was clearly genuine in his interest, and this piece was an idea he developed and pitched himself.  his questions intelligent and his curiosity keen.  

his interest in farm burger is two fold—well, maybe multi-fold.  it’s not just a farm to table restaurant he wanted to shoot, for that task is becoming easier by the month.  as with most good ideas, however, swarms of posers, half-assers, and quick-buckers sink their claws into the backs of innovators and visionaries and come along for the ride.

the difference between farm burger and farm255 vs. other similarly described restaurants is that as opposed to merely sourcing quality ingredients (which is probably still more than many so called farm-to-plate menus can say) we actually grow them ourselves.  it’s not farm to table—it’s farm AND table.  (booyah!)

taking it next level, wes was keen to the fact that farm burger is serving this food at economical prices—giving access of farm fresh food to the people.  not just some people.  all the people

coming from brooklyn, eating farm fresh food at a hip restaurant is no tall order to fill.  the bill, however, is a horse of a different color.  even a niche industry such as ours, which prides itself on treating farmers fairly, can be criticized for mainly catering to deep pocketed soccer moms and big city socialites.   

preaching about food access is one thing—delivering is quite another.  developing farm to table concepts that holds access as a priority needs to be a focus going forward.

the cnn piece is slotted to air on the twenty seventh, and i will put a link up as soon as it does.


high on cooking, takin me back

this week we were graced with a special house guest:  her mom.  for those of you who know us, it will be no surprise that this means we got our puerto rican on all week long.  today she left, but the supply of sofrito she left us in the freezer will keep the sweet smells of pr fresh in the air.  

on her last night we made some delicious ribs from pork chop hill.  i simmered them in fresh pork and chicken stock, herbs from the patio, and various vegetables for about three hours (falling off the bone) before rubbing them down in sofrito, grain mustard, garlic, paprika, local raw honey, crushed red pepper, and sea salt.  the rubbed down ribs chilled in the fridge until dinner time, and they were warmed on the grill. 

¡que delicioso!


sofrito puerto riqueño:  the essence of the island

this is the recipe her mamita made this week, and it’s enough to last a couple weeks (some fresh, most frozen for later).  adjust quantities as you see fit.  you should all go make some.

two heads garlic

one green pepper

one red pepper

a couple banana peppers

one red onion

about half a bunch cilantro

one bunch scallions

-sea salt and olive oil to taste

we used a food processor, which takes this to a supremely easy level, but clearly a knife and two hands will work just fine.  dice and combine everything (save salt and oil).  once combined salt to taste and add a bit of oil (to prevent it from oxidizing).

how to use: sofrito goes in and on anything and everything.  the most common use is to add it to hot oil before adding whatever else you are planning to cook.  the sofrito sizzles for only a minute—you just want to release the flavors, not cook it.   

this week alone i added it to eggs, a sandwhich, a salad dressing, and a grilled lobster tail forher—not to mention las costillas de cerdo pictured above.