How Grampa did it…
On March 29th, we had 14 children and 9 adults meet at Friesen Farm in Lyons Brook for a tour of their organic farm. David welcomed us to the family run farm. He also welcomed us to challenge any of his ideas and practices. Smiling, he let us know that he would have an answer for our challenges because he believes in and is passionate about what her does.
David grew up farming, always feeling that one day her would leave farm life behind to go out in the world and pursue other dreams. As it turns out, he realized this was the perfect business to be able to enjoy with his own growing family.
He has been told by customers that their potatoes “taste like Grampa’s”. Where commercial farms strive to have potato plants yield up to 20 potatoes, David is satisfied with 5 or 6 per plant because “they taste like Grampa’s”. The quality of the produce is more important than the quantity.
While David strives to remember the wisdom of Grampa’s ways, some environmentally friendly innovations are welcomed….and some mandated. He taught us a great deal about food production in this day and age. We discussed the cost and time for food to be shipped from other countries….and the quality and shelf life of that food, once it does arrive. He shared tips for choosing seeds, planting, organic fertilizers, harvesting and storage of produce.
A highlight for many of us was visiting the barn that houses the sheep and goats (and natural fertilizer production). A chorus of maas and baas, bouncing baby goats and and timid little lambs had all of us ooing and awing.
We were grateful to David, and his family, for sharing their time, home, knowledge and produce with us. Even the smell of the carrots brought back memories. I do believe there are times when progress really is about getting back to how Grampa did it.