Sunflowers have been a glorious golden-yellow burst of sunshine in our fields this winter. They stand vibrant and strong, shoulder to shoulder en mass, offering their pollen to the bees and welcoming all to come and admire them. Sunflowers are part of the fabric of Suzie’s Farm. When I look at our sunflowers I’m reminded of Ellie Sherman our dear friend, former #1 Farmer and the first employee of Suzie’s Farm. Homer, her adorable farm dog, must also be mentioned as he was part of our farm dog pack along with Kiki (aka Calamity), and Ruby. Many other beloved dogs from our crew would also join the pack in chasing squirrels, rabbits, and other pesty varments that eat our young plants in the fields. Ellie hand-planted the first vegetable seeds with Lucila, cultivating the crops that would soon fill our first CSA boxes.
In 2011, Robin, Lucila, Katie and Ellie shared a vision of creating a sunflower maze filled with crisscrossing paths and hidden rooms for discovery, a place for the red-wing blackbirds to cavort and for native creatures to delight. Lucila had the idea to make it really big (two acres) with a room in the middle of the maze to host our Autumnal Equinox Dinner. Ellie designed it and figured out how to do it. It took a lot of planning, many, many hands and hours to accomplish this vision and the end result was magical, giving us all memories that will last a lifetime. Thank you for your vision and inspiration Ellie and know that you are missed. I remember clearing the paths in the maze of dried branches and finding a very small bunny sleeping under a very large, dried sunflower leaf lying on the ground. We have fabulous picture albums of our 2011 & 2012 sunflower maze on our Suzie’s Farm Flickr page. Ellie is now living in Vermont, pursuing a three-year clinical herbalist training at the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism. She is also working with her friends, Taylor and Misha, on their small herb farm & apothecary, Free Verse Farm & Apothecary and making goat milk caramels for Fat Toad Farms.
Robin has planted two acres of sunflowers every month, and we invite all of you to come and pick them on Saturdays from 10 am – 2pm. The cost is $5 to enter the field and $1 a stem. The sunflower field is also a great photo opportunity. Check in at our farm stand and remember to bring your camera and clippers to cut the thick stems. The sunflowers are buoyant and will last up to two weeks in a vase. On grey, cloudy days they will lift your spirits and offer a bright burst of sunshine for your home.
Note -Our new schedule for public tours and our farm stand is 10 am- 2 pm on Saturdays only.
Recipes for Week of Feb. 27 – Mar. 5
Crispy Kale, Butternut Squash & Bacon Pizza
Here is a fresh idea – use your butternut squash and kale in a pizza! Flatbread or pre-made pizza crust will make it simple or go the whole way and make your own pizza dough.
Nantes Your Average Carrot and Butternut Soup
‘This recipe produces a wonderful, rich and silky soup that will have your family asking for seconds. Paired with a loaf of rustic bread and an apple, walnut and blue cheese salad, this simple soup is transformed into a stunning meal.’