Promised Land Garden Farm
Promised Land Garden Farm is a new farm dedicated to producing wholesome food in an earth-friendly way.
The farm itself is not currently located in a permanent place but is an entity taking place in several locations. This is expected to change and evolve, and it reflects the difficulty of obtaining property for farming on a small scale by a new farmer. It also seems appropriate in an existential way, for which of us truly own a piece of the planet we call earth? Our lifespans are so short and our efforts seem so insignificant in comparison to the enormity of the ancient and wonderful planet on which we live, which we have inherited from those who came before us and which we will leave to those who will follow us. The earth itself is constantly changing, heating and cooling, shifting its form with earthquakes, weather events, moving tectonic plates, volcanoes, and meteorological events, not to mention the scars and changes scratched upon its surface and put into its atmosphere and water by its various life forms. So "my" farm belongs to history past and future, to it's inhabitants, including the plants, animals, and microbes of many species who dwell wherever it is, and to the Creator of it all. Given that, it is alright to be on leased and borrowed land, although it does seem desirable to be able to build and cultivate the kind of specific infrastructure that would make my efforts more efficient and fruitful.
At the present, I am grateful for the opportunity to cultivate land at a Certified Naturally Grown farm in Argyle, NY, at a horse riding establishment in Milton, NY, and at my own house in Saratoga Springs, NY.
My interest in organic methods of growing food began when I was around 10 years old while visiting my mother's sister and her family. She kept an a productive organic garden and subscribed to Organic Gardening magazine, which I found on her book shelf and was mesmerized by. I began by planting random vegetables in strange places in our yard and mulching with grass clippings. In almost every place I've lived since then, I have had something growing in the ground outside, with varying degrees of success.
This first year, the farm is beginning in the middle of the growing season because I needed to finish the school year in the district where I was working. As a result, the produce I bring to market will be limited this first season. There will be some different items from those you may typically find in our area, depending of course on weather, and on insect, furry, and animal visitors. All farmers have these challenges, and it is a learning process.
This year, the farm hopes to bring the following to market:
Lettuces, including Salanovas used to make your own, freshly torn salad mix and my favorite Bolsachica, a type of dark green oak leaf lettuce with a fabulous crunch and nutty flavor, as well as others.
Radicchios of different colors, shapes, crunch and sweetness levels, to put in that salad mix to give it a complexity of color, flavor, texture, and nutrition.
Herbs including cilantro, lemon, Thai, and Italian basil, parsley, chives, thyme, and dill.
Alliums including onions, shallots, garlic, and leeks.
Sweet peppers, including crunchy small salad peppers and Italian banana shaped peppers.
Spicy peppers, including jalapeños and the Malawi Picante pepper, both of which are good for making poppers, in cooking, and dried for grinding to make your own red ground pepper. (I use an old coffee grinder for this.). Also, Cayenne peppers, which are nice to crumble into cooking or grind, may be available toward the end of the season.
Tomatoes, including the popular Sungold cherry and black cherry, which is sweet and luscious. Also the new one (for me) is Super Italian Plum and my old favorite, the small plum Juliet, as good sliced in a salad as it is in sauce or salsa. The larger tomatoes include the perfect red Mountain Fresh, the Costaluto Genovese, (an Italian tomato with an unusual dark, deep flavor), the delicate Yellow Garden Peach, and the Purple Cherokee, with its delicious color and flavor.
Italian zucchini and Lebanese squash.
Green and yellow cucumbers of many varieties, both pickling and slicing. I cannot resist the urge to try new cucumbers!
Eggplants of various types, both Italian and Asian.
Tomatillos, both green and purple.
Okra of several varieties, including two kinds of Cowhorn, a type that remains tender even when longer!
Pink eye purple hull peas, which are basically a variety of fresh black-eyed peas, which will come to market in long pods for you to shell at home sitting in front of the TV, or on your porch with friends and family, like my grandmother used to do. It is slow food and relaxation at its best, providing a centering activity with your hands while accomplishing something wonderful for dinner!
The other bean I hope to bring to market that is similar in practice to the pink eyed purple hulls is butter beans. These are fresh lima beans, and also come in a pod that you can shell easily like the peas. They are different from every other bean, creamy and sweet cooked only with salt and butter in water.
Pole beans that I hope to bring to market, which are green beans that grow upright on supports instead of in bushes on the ground. Many folks down south say they have a better flavor. You can be the judge of that.
I have small artichokes growing, unsuccessful radishes so far, and collards that may or may not make it to market. This first year of farming has seen a lot of rain and although rain is good, too much of it can be very damaging.
Where to find the farm
Products will be for sale at the Clifton Park farmers market, on Mondays from 2 to 5 PM, in the parking lot of the Shenendehowa Methodist Church, on Route 146.
You can text or call me special orders anytime and I will see what I can do for you. I am sometimes unavailable by phone but I will answer any phone message or text that is left for me. The phone number is 518-281-0425 and my email address is email@example.com.