If you’ve seen the front page of this month’s Granby Drummer (let alone taken a peek inside), you know that someone is not so happy with our town vineyard. Maybe the entire issue can be solved with a change of attitude, so I’d like to take a minute to look on the bright side of having a vineyard in our beautiful town.
I don’t live next door to the vineyard, but I do live across the street from Salmon Brook Park. I enjoy the happy sounds not just of summer concerts and weekly ball games as I work in our fields. I love the fact that we can see and hear the fireworks for Celebrate Granby right from our front porch. So I can’t imagine not loving being the neighbor of the vineyard.
We moved from New York City to raise our kids in the town where my husband grew up. With all its benefits (there are so many), culture is not as quick and easy to be found. I love having a place to see art, hear music, admire the beauty of nature. So I can’t imagine not loving being the neighbor of the vineyard.
The best part of being a farmer in this town is our community. We are all looking to help each other, each believing that together we are stronger than we are individually. It’s why we started Open Farm Day, why we showcase each other at our own farms, and why we feel we can rely on each other for help and advice. The vineyard is a big part of this community. So I can’t imagine not loving being the neighbor of the vineyard.
Our farm had plans (literally) to become a housing development before my husband and I decided to move back to Granby. Because of a family commitment to farming on the part of his grandparents, his parents and us, our 50 acres in the center of town is still a farm. We are hoping that the work we are doing now will inspire our own kids to want to take care of the land as a farm in the future. But they need to see it as a successful, viable business (as all farms MUST be) in order to want to take on the work that it is. Diversification is key to the health of any farm. So I can’t imagine not loving being the neighbor of the vineyard.
I’ll admit it. I’m jealous of the vineyard. It’s a place people just love to go (who doesn’t love wine). Ground beef and pork chops just aren’t as sexy as Firehouse Red and Clemons Springs white. They pull people in from near and far and their draw helps not just all of the farms in town, but all of the businesses in town. So I can’t imagine not loving being the neighbor of the vineyard.
We’re losing farmland at an alarming rate – less so in CT, thankfully. How great is it that we have not only farmers who have been working their land for generations, but new farmers, reclaiming land that surely once was farmed. What a great resource for our town. So I can’t imagine not loving being the neighbor of the vineyard.
As farms in town, we realize that we sometimes try your patience. But we thank you for being so helpful and understanding. Our horse is in your back yard? Thanks for helping us corral them back on to our property. You can smell the cow manure we spread on our fields? That’s the smell of spring in Granby! You are behind us on the tractor? You give us a wave as you pass with a wide berth. You can hear the music from down the street? Sit back, pour a lemonade and enjoy. We’ll repay you by keeping our town rural, pastoral, authentic. Please do come visit us on Septebmer 6 – Granby’s Open Farm Day 2014!
I can’t find a recipe I like on the internet (they’re all made for those grocery store water-logged hams), so I’m going to tell you how I’m going to cook our Easter ham. It’s in the fridge now, thawing. Our hams are smoked without nitrates or nitrites by a great family smokehouse called Noack’s in Meriden, CT. In order to smoke it without nitrates/nitrites, they have to take the bones out, so what you get is a ham rolled up in a web of baker’s twine, about 3-5 lbs. The ham needs to be cooked through (it’s not already cooked) to 145 degrees, so make sure you have your meat thermometer at hand (or buy one at our Farm Store). That’s going to take about 35-40 minutes/lb in a 325 degree oven. Because it is boneless, that little ham is going to feed a lot of people! You’ll only need about ¼-1/3 lb of ham for each of your guests. That means those 3-5 lb hams can serve 12-20 people.
Take your ham out of the plastic packaging and rinse it off and put it in your pan. This is when I usually say a little thanks to the animal who made the meat. Put a little bit of water in the pan (just cover the bottom). You could get creative and use some pork stock, or a mixture of apple juice and water…. Whatever you think would add to the pork flavor and the rest of what you are serving for dinner. Put foil over your pan and put it in the oven. About 15-20 minutes before baking should be finished, take off the foil and add any glaze you like (if you like). Leave uncovered for the rest of the baking time so the glaze can caramelize. When your thermometer reads 145 (or a little under – it will keep rising as the meat rests), take the roast out of the oven and let it rest for at least 5 minutes.
Since it’s boneless, it’s super easy to carve. Enjoy with friends and family! Happy Easter!
A blog about farming and food. Kate Bogli owns and operates Maple View Farm, raising livestock and growing veggies, with her husband Jason. The farm has been in his family for 65 years.