Seed catalogs are starting to arrive here at the farm. Luscious red peppers and gourmet greens, garlic bulbs as big as wine glasses and spears of dewy asparagus that quiver on the page like ballerinas on tiptoe are tucked into the mailbox. Catalogs adorned with pictures of gardeners digging in the dirt with straw hats to keep off the sun and marigold leis strung around their necks land at my doorstep, and I see myself with a bandana around my head working the ground. I have pages and pages of sun ripened tomatoes, summer’s first raspberries and the venerable strawberry to browse through as the snow falls. Michigan grows not only the best tart cherries in the world, but also the best raspberries, strawberries, and tomatoes. The difference in taste between our fruits and vegetables and those grown with irrigation lies in the mineral-rich rain that falls from the sky.
Winter may have a firm hold on the land, but now is the time to begin planning the garden. Here at Raub-Rae Farms we will again have a stand at the Rochester Farmer’s Market throughout the summer to supply those weary of factory farms and chemical-laden vegetables with organic eggs, chicken, and beef in addition to a wide variety of vegetables. This year we will offer a weekly newsletter at the market containing news and notes from the farm (everyone should have an idea of where their food comes from) as well as recipes and growing and cultivating tips.
Organic farming is farming on a sustainable level, one with the natural world and the inner spirit. Our lives depend on agriculture and seeds and we value our land and all that lives here. Raub-Rae Farms is not only a fourth generation organic farm, it is also now a Centennial Farm. My father completed the lengthy application process this past year, and our farm has just been approved for this honorable designation. When the ground thaws he will put up his new sign!