While home in Maine last week, my childhood friend Henry and I took our gaggle of kids to visit Four Season Farm. Well off the beaten path, this unpretentious but beautifully maintained farm offers a glimpse into the thriving world of small-scale, sustainable agriculture. We had a chance to meet Elliott Coleman, the farm’s owner and primary custodian. Although a nationally renowned leader in the organic farming movement, he was as unpretentious as his land – encouraging the kids to check out the “henitentiary” (a special coop built for renegade hens) and offering a walk through his private gardens.
Even though the Maine winter really only ended a few weeks earlier, the beds were full of everything from artichokes to onions to heirloom tomatoes – many of them ready for harvest. Thanks to Coleman’s assortment of portable green houses (no additional heating required), the growing season here never ends, even when the outside temperatures go as low as negative 10 degrees.
Before heading home, we stopped in at the farm stand to pick up a few goodies for dinner. Most of the veggies had been picked that morning and still had that earthy smell that comes with being fresh out of the ground. At the recommendation of the young woman behind the counter, we took home a basket full of sweet onions and carrots. She had roasted up a batch the night before and strongly suggested that we do the same.
ROASTED VEGETABLES Ingredients: Steps: Makes 4 servings.
2 lbs carrots, roughly cut into bite size pieces
2 medium onions, cut into eighths
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Makes 4 servings.