What’s been going on!
Raw, raw couple of days. There are experiences in life that etch themselves so deeply into your being that they surface whenever the conditions or situation are similar. Like knowing that something hot will burn you or that a barking dog with teeth bared can raise the hair on the back of your neck. Usually these are survival lessons we have learned.
This kind of weather is exactly one of those for Betsy and me. Our first year farming, in 1982, had been one of excitement and struggle as we planted and tended our first crops while trying to build infrastructure on this blank piece of land. I was on the farm full time and Betsy was working in the kitchen at the Fearrington House. In late March we moved into a tent next to the only building on the farm, a 20X20 tin roofed equipment shed that I had built the fall before to house the tractor and tools. It allowed us to save money on rent and to be here to work as much as we could and not have to commute.
Spring moved into summer and we had to get a real house built but progress was painfully slow between trying to save the crops from biblical weeds, not having two dimes to rub together and building it mostly by myself. By the end of October we finally had it dried in with just black board on the outside and the plumbing and electric roughed in but there was no insulation or sheetrock.
The first weekend of November we were staring down days of cold rainy weather that herald the end of beautiful fall and the beginning of winter. After 7 months in the tent we did not relish being cold and damp so we rigged up the woodstove in the new house and moved in, not optimal but at least we were warm and dry! By Christmas we had it insulated and the sheetrock up but it would be another six months before we would have running water and more electricity than what an extension cord from the temporary power pole could deliver to four plugs.
It was those days and many more like them that made us tougher and resilient enough to succeed in this business but as we sit here with the 40 degree drizzle outside and a fire in the woodstove it all comes rushing back like it was yesterday.
Picture of the Week
Our blackboard house in the spring of 1983
What’s going to be at the market?
The first day of the Renovations Market, be patient and adventurous in both your parking and finding us at market!
All of the peppers are still here in all colors and heat levels. Lots of Sweet Red Bells; and good amount of Corno di Toros in yellow, orange and red; lime green Italian Cubanelles. Sweet Pimentos and a few Spanish Piquillos. Shishitos and Padrons for appetizers and Aji Dulces the Habanero flavor without the heat.
Hot peppers from mildest to hottest- Passilla, Anaheim (New Mexican), Poblano, Serrano, Jalapeno, Guindilla from Spain, Cayenne.
Beautiful fall greens. Red Summer Crisp lettuce along with a bit of Little Gem and the Salanova mixed lettuces. Sweet Collards to go with the Lacinato Kale, tender and full of flavor. Spigariello (Leaf Broccoli) as sweet green that we grow for Pizzeria Mercato, a quick saute. Braising Greens make a return just in time for cold weather. Radicchio and Escarole in the chicory family.
The first beautiful Leeks of the fall but the last of the Romanesco Broccoli with crazy geometric shapes. Spaghetti and Butternut Winter Squash. Cilantro, Italian Parsley. Sweet and tender Japanese Salad Turnips. Red Radishes and Watermelon Radish too. Baby Ginger and fresh Turmeric too!
As a reminder if there is anything that you would like for us to hold for you at market just let us know by e-mail, by the evening before, and we will be glad to put it aside for you. Just so you know, sometimes not everything listed will be at the Wednesday market.
Hope to see you all at the market!
Alex, Betsy and Jennie
If you know folks who you think would be interested in news of the farm then please feel free to forward this to them and encourage them to sign up at the website.
CONGRATULATIONS, Alex and Betsy, on what you have built! I applaud your initial grit and determination! Peregrine Farm is a BEAUTY!
I love your farm and your lovely home, am amazed at their humble beginnings. You have reason to be proud. I hope the sense of accomplishment warms your hearts and souls in all the years to come.
How inspirational! Thank you for sharing the story of your challenging beginnings. (Not for sissies!) Congratulations
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