Author: bloomingglenfarm

The spring bounty was evident at the farm this week. As we enter year eight here at Blooming Glen Farm, we are pleased to see that our steady soil building practices seem to be yielding more vibrant, health-nurturing vegetables each season. The crops are exploding with the heat and steady irrigation, though it looks like we’ve returned to more reasonable weather and cooler nights. Despite seeing the first of the lightning bugs, we still have a few weeks until the Solstice, the official start of summer!

CSA share week 2, 6/4/13.

Last week was a tough week on the crops, but also on our crew. With a steady flow of popsicles, cold beverages and lots of sunscreen on hand, we made it through the worst of it. There were some bigger weeds to contend with- a lot of hand pulling in our onion crop- but we spent the hottest part of the days thinning carrots. Slow and low to the ground, this task required a bit less exertion than being in the greenhouse saunas trellising tomatoes.

Thinning and weeding carrots.

The only crop that got planted last week was the eggplants- it was just too hot to shock tender transplants when it’s in the upper 90 degrees. The heat went on just long enough to cause some problems for our cooler weather loving crops: the tatsoi bolted (put up flowers), some newly emerged radishes withered under the row covers, and we are seeing more heat-loving pests like aphids and flea beetles. To help combat the aphids on our greenhouse heirloom tomatoes, we released parasitic wasps. These tiny wasps look more like gnats than the wasps we are familiar with, but they will take care of the aphids over time.

A rainbow of cabbages.

Our spring cabbages are a rainbow of color, and will be harvested in a few weeks. Interested in learning to make sauerkraut or other simple tabletop pickles? I’m thrilled that we have local fermentation enthusiast and author of the fermentation site, Amanda Feifer, coming to the farm in a few weeks. Her fermentation class is 12-2pm on Sunday June 23, you can click here for more info and to register. After reading Michael Pollan’s wonderful article in the Sunday NY Times Magazine on May 15, Some of My Best Friends Are Germs, I am ready to add more fermented foods to my diet and boost the beneficial bacteria in my gut! Hope to see you there!

Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

In the Discovery garden at the CSA you’ll find the wonderful edible flowers, chive blossoms. Neighboring farmer friends of ours have been selling chive blossoms for years to chefs, where I imagine the blossoms are sprinkled on soups, garnished on salads and mixed with goat cheese. I was delighted to discover on Marisa McClellan’s Blog, Food in Jars, a very simple home recipe for what to do with these beautiful springtime treats.

Chive Blossom Infused-Vinegar

First harvest or purchase one bunch of the purple chive blossoms. Next, remove the blossoms from the stem, soak in a bowl of cold water to remove any bugs or dirt, and then drain well. You can use a salad spinner to dry them, or leave in strainer for a few hours to air dry.

Then pack a mason jar 2/3 full of the blossoms and cover with raw apple cider vinegar or white vinegar (raw apple cider vinegar has more health benefits than the white vinegar, however you won’t get the same colorful results as shown in the photos below)- you can use a pint or quart size jar depending on how many blossoms you have. Leave the vinegar in your pantry in a cool, dark place for 2-3 weeks for a chive flavored vinegar.

Within just a few days the vinegar has turned a gorgeous bright pink and has a wonderful onion aroma. The longer you leave it to infuse, the stronger the chive flavor will be. Strain out the blossoms when ready to use. This vinegar can then be used as a base for salad dressings or marinades. I love to use it in my potato salad, in place of raw onions which Farmer Tom doesn’t love, the chive blossom vinegar gives it a more subtle onion flavor. You can also read a recipe posted on the blog last spring for Escarole Salad with Fennel and Orange that uses chive vinegar.

Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

The CSA is off and running, with the first pick-up on Tuesday, May 28th. Despite the rain CSA members were smiling in delight at the fresh vegetables. Those with umbrellas and rain ponchos bravely headed out to the strawberry patch and were rewarded for their efforts with a quart of juicy sweet berries.

CSA share week 1, 5/28/13.

The smell of garlic wafted through the pick-up room.  Green garlic, or spring garlic, looks like a small leek, but is actually a young garlic, before it plumps up to the bulbous form we are all familiar with. You can chop the white part just like you would a leek, and use it in place of a clove of garlic. Its unique sweet flavor is wonderful sauteed with any of the greens in the share. A staple in our house this time of year is sauteed spring onions, green garlic and kale.

If you are unfamiliar with how to cook all these spring greens, or would like some new ideas, I suggest you check out the Glorious Greens cooking class we are having at the farm next week, Wednesday, June 5 at 7pm. Plant-based nutrition counselor Patti Lombardi will be demonstrating a handful of techniques and recipes for enjoying fresh nutritious greens from the farm. Click here for more details and to register.

A soggy harvest crew Tuesday morning with spring onions for the CSA.

Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

The farm has seen a flurry of activity this week. Like an intricately choreographed dance, the crew has been moving from activity to activity, but the main focus has been planting. Spring has been kind to us this year, with just the right amount of time between rainstorms, allowing the ground to dry out for cultivating, plowing, making beds and planting, so the “indoor labor” like trellising the heirloom tomatoes has been put on the back burner (until yesterday’s stormy day, that is).

The crops seem to be loving the combination of heat and rain, with everything growing by leaps and bounds overnight. It’s hard to believe this is the same field of potatoes planted on April 10, a little over a month ago.

Potato Field: Before and After.

What have we planted these past two weeks? Watermelons and cantaloupes, field tomatoes, cutting flowers, basil, dill, sweet potatoes, tomatillos, hot and sweet peppers, celeriac, the second round of cucumbers and summer squash, sweet corn, the third rotation of green beans (these go in every 10 days for a steady supply, planting 8-10 rotations total), edamame beans, and more! Our last two big plantings- eggplant and winter squash- will happen next week, then it’s just sucession plantings of crops we want a steady supply of, like lettuce and cooking greens. Our summer will be spent cultivating, harvesting, trellising and tending with lots of loving care all that we’ve planted.

Our CSA on-farm pick-ups start next week, May 28 and 30! There’s still space available for both half and full shares. (Our abbreviated 16 week boxed delivery share to Doylestown doesn’t start until June 28th. There’s still space for that as well.) Check out the CSA Rough Guide for the ins and outs of pick-up before you come to the farm next week. This covers important details like BYOB (bring your own bags or box), pick-up times (1-8pm), and what to do first (sign in!).

Ledamete Grass Farm will be delivering their first chicken shares to the farm on the 28th, and also setting up a market table of products for purchase from 1-5pm- no pre-ordering necessary (Well, they’ll be here unless farmer April goes into labor. She and Rob are expecting their second child any day now!). Ledamete Grass Farm will be doing their market booth here at Blooming Glen once a month. Go to their website to get on their mailing list for future dates and to pre-order.

We are looking forward to seeing new and familiar faces at the farm in the next few weeks! What can you expect in the first CSA share? Strawberries, hakurei turnips, arugula, bok choy, spinach, spring onions and more! See you soon!

Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

Rebecca Metcalf, our second featured apprentice, joined the farm at the beginning of April with her partner Bob. Her steady, willing presence, laid-back attitude, and the unique life perspective she brings, is all such a wonderful addition to Blooming Glen. When she’s not here working hard at the farm, you’ll also see Rebecca’s smiling face at our booth at the Saturday Easton Farmer’s market.

Some of my earliest memories are of going to my grandmothers’ houses and learning to string green beans in the kitchen or to find the strawberries that were ripe enough to pick in the field. The hardest part was not eating them all before I got them back to the house. I was born into a family of tobacco farmers and vegetable gardeners in Lexington, Kentucky. So, farming is something that feels familiar to me. Yet, by age six my parents moved away from farming and into a more suburban life. I still visited my grandparents’ farms as I grew up, but lost the close connection to growing food that I had started to develop as a young child.

Until recently, I hadn’t thought too much about becoming a farmer. I’ve dabbled in other areas, such as hairstyling for a few years and then moving on to work in the social service arena. During these years I was a supporter of local agriculture in and around Louisville, Kentucky, where I lived. I bought CSA shares and frequented farmer’s markets and I even tried my hand at backyard gardening. But, I never dreamed I would find myself as a full time farmer at this point in my life.

Rebecca and her bike in Ecuador in 2012.

Life drastically changed course, though, when my partner Bob (who is farming at Blooming Glen with me) and I decided to save up money and take a year off to travel the Americas. We both love experiencing new places and cultures and wanted to embark on an adventure together. So we sold most of the things we had accumulated in our twenties and hit the road in January of 2012. We headed out on our motorcycle loaded down with all the belongings we would have for the next year. Needless to say, it was quite an adventure.

Rebecca at eco-reserve Miraflor in Nicaragua.

The things that really struck us during our travels were how little we really needed to live on and how far away from our food sources we had been while living in the U.S. I still miss being able to run down the street, in almost any city we visited, to grab a few fresh vegetables from the corner store. They were like micro-farmer’s markets where you could get whatever you needed to cook a healthy meal without having to leave the block. We also knew where the food was coming from because we could see it being transported straight into town from the outlying farms. The huge box grocery store was virtually non-existent during our travels. And, we came to appreciate that change in a profound way.

When we returned to the U.S. we knew that we didn’t want to fall back into a lifestyle that was absent of this connection to food. We also wanted to find a way to acclimate back into U.S. culture without being bombarded by the parts we weren’t so fond of upon returning. So, we decided that working hard, getting our hands dirty and connecting to a movement that we already believed in would be a kind of therapy for our new found state of culture shock in our own home country.

Rebecca planting tomatoes this spring at Blooming Glen Farm.

That’s how we landed at Blooming Glen Farm. As a first year farmer there are quite a lot of exciting discoveries that come along with learning a new skill. Major sources of inspiration for me so far include: seeing a flat of seeds that I’ve sown begin to sprout its first seedlings, the realization of just how many people we are going to feed with our vegetables when the weekly market harvest is accumulated, and seeing the excitement in our customers’ faces at being able to buy fresh, nourishing vegetables from our stand. Working the outdoor market has been one of the best ways to reconnect to our travels for me so far, as it was more of the norm for food buying in the countries we visited.

I’m still awaiting the harvest of those nostalgic vegetables from childhood, though I expect to display a bit more self-control in the strawberry patch than I did at age five. I can already feel my connection to food growing and I look forward to all the opportunities for learning that lay ahead. As this new adventure unfolds, I can’t wait to see (and taste!) all that the season has in store.

Text by Rebecca Metcalf, photos provided by Rebecca.

What would spring be without talking about reemay– the giant white fabric row covers that blanket our crops. This multipurpose tool, that we farmers love and hate in equal parts, doubles as both a bug deterrent and a frost barrier to our early spring crops.  It keeps the first plantings of cucumbers and green beans warm, protects our strawberry flowers from frost damage, maintains enough soil moisture over the mutiple weeks that is takes tiny carrot seeds to germinate, and prevents the minuscule flea beetles from turning the leaves of our radishes and bok choy into swiss cheese.

A view of the cucumbers snug under the row cover.

We woke up this Monday after Mother’s Day to a crunchy silver coating covering the grass and fields. This was the latest we’ve seen frost here at the farm in the past eight years. We knew it was coming, so we delayed planting our field tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. Why not use the row cover? Why the love hate relationship? One word: shoveling. And more shoveling. On our blustery hill top it is a struggle to keep those long twisty aerodynamic sheets anchored down. It requires lots and lots and lots of shoveling- a scoop of dirt on the edges every 5 feet or so, or heavy sand bags to weigh down the edges. With acres of 200 foot beds covered with remay, well, that’s a lot of shoveling, especially for our softened winter bodies that haven’t quite strengthened to the arduous work of spring. After a few weeks of planting and covering and shoveling, if we didn’t have them already, we’ve gained some ripped biceps, and a new appreciation for the diversity of tasks that make up being a farmer.

Trellised sugar snap peas; harvesting french breakfast radishes

With the start of the farmers markets, and the first on-farm CSA pick-up beginning May 28th, we begin to make the switch from intensive planting to juggling both planting and harvesting. All the while we still need to find the time for tasks like thinning turnips, weeding carrots, hilling potatoes, trellising peas, mowing grass, fixing tractors, building and repairing greenhouses, and seeding every week so we can keep a steady supply of produce, and jobs, going all season long.

Thinning hakurei turnips; spring onions ready for harvest

Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

Blooming Glen farm apprentice Carly Freedman has an equal love for crafting and root vegetables, for her faith and for her family. She brings to our farm crew a big heart and infectious enthusiasm. Below she shares her journey to farming.

I was born and raised in Ambler, PA surrounded by loud and loving family and friends. As the youngest of three, my parents, Michael and Audrey, were always on the run and keeping us busy with many different activities. From dance, to soccer, to softball, to swimming, to singing, to theatre, my childhood was filled with different experiences which shaped my personality and morals. In college and beyond, my passions shifted greatly from biology, to the environment, to cooking, to Judaism, to environmental education, to dairy goats, to vegetable farming. 

Carly at Kayam Farm in 2008.

My passion for farming started at Ursinus College, when I heard a talk about Judaism and the environment, which led me to participate in a 2 week experiential program at Kayam, a Jewish educational farm. There, I was introduced to what it feels like to grow food, connect with the earth, community, and my religious traditions. This ignited a spark within me and I started to delve more into environmental studies, gardening, environmental education with children, and their relationship with Judaism. After much studying and learning in school and on my own, I graduated college in December 2010 with a dual degree in Biology and Environmental Studies and the mission to live the values I had developed and learn the skills that I lacked.

I began my next chapter in Spain, Morocco, and Israel, where I learned about herbal medicine, different cultures, gardening, and living in a Jewish society. From there, I went to Oregon, where I lived on a small sustainable homestead and learned animal husbandry, raising dairy goats, processing wool from sheep to sweater, preserving food, and much more.

Then I moved to southern California where I worked as a nature and farm educator at a Jewish nature reserve and conference center.  I learned survival skills, Native American crafts, gardening in a chaparral climate, and how to aide in connecting children with nature.

Carly with new mama and baby goat at the Pearlstone Center.

From California, I moved to Maryland where I worked at the farm at the Pearlstone Center as a farm and educator apprentice. I cared for dairy goats and chickens, grew vegetables on 4 acres, and helped to run a 40 share CSA with a small and passionate farming community. We also served the Baltimore Jewish community with farm and nature education. That experience left me inspired to really focus on vegetable production on a larger scale.

This led me to Blooming Glen! Here, I have been able to work with an amazing crew and have begun to learn successful, sustainable, and effective systems to growing beautiful vegetables.  I believe that as spiritual, physical, social, and emotional beings, when we engage all of those sides of ourselves, we connect to a whole and meaningful experience. Farming is able to engage a person on all levels; the physical labor, the social implications of participating in the sustainable agriculture movement and engaging in the farm and larger community, the emotional experience of growing food and feeding a community, and the spiritual connection developed as you connect with life! Farming is always exciting and presents new challenges and rewards.  I love to harvest root vegetables (like beets and radishes) because it is always surprising and exciting to see what you will pull out of the ground.  Every day is exciting as I learn new skills, recall old ones, and challenge myself at Blooming Glen.

Learning new tractor skills at Blooming Glen Farm.

When I am not farming, I love to cook, read, craft, hike, spend time with my family, play games with my grandma, and go on adventures with my friends.

I look forward to all that this season will bring- from the cold and hard days of preparing the farm in the spring, to the hard work that follows during the summer harvest and fall plantings, to the fall harvest and prep for winter in the fall. I hope to continue learning more and more each day and I look forward to meeting everyone in the greater Blooming Glen Farm community. Until then, remember to breathe properly, stay curious, and eat your beets!

Photos and text by Carly Freedman.

Herbalist Susan Hess of Farm at Coventry is returning to Blooming Glen Farm for the 2013 season!  From May to October she will teach a wonderful variety of herbal classes, as well as her very popular cheese-making class. And, if you sign up for all six classes, you’ll get one free!

Susan Hess is a therapeutic herbalist and native weed wrangler who resides in northern Chester County. Since 1997 Susan has grown a fine line of handcrafted herbal products at the Farm at Coventry. She also enjoys sharing her knowledge through community outreach programs, weed walks and her own teaching gardens during her 12 month “Homestead Herbalism” course. Susan’s website showcases her photography as well as her herbal product line and educational offerings.

Below you will find the class descriptions and dates for the classes that Susan Hess will be holding at Blooming Glen Farm this season. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn from a master herbalist. You will be surprised at the many things that you can easily integrate into your own life, from first aid to wellness remedies, using both cultivated and wild herbs. You may sign up for as little as one class, or all six, it’s up to you! (**If you do decide to sign up for all six of the classes, one class will be free of charge! Six classes for only $150!) Pre-registration (with payment) is required. Registration is through Susan’s website:, or send a check to Farm at Coventry, 1889 Little Conestoga Road, Elverson, PA 19520. Please call Susan for more details or questions at 610-587-7301.

Soft Cheesemaking: It’s easy to make soft cheeses using farm fresh cow or goat milk and culture!  Unlike cheeses that need to be aged and carefully tended for months, fresh cheeses are ready to eat within a day and can be easily incorporated into any kitchen routine using basic kitchen equipment. Susan will demonstrate the simple step-by-step processes of making a soft cheese such as Chevre or Fromage Blanc and at the end of class we will sample a variety of cheeses. Instructional handouts, a resource list and one packet of culture is included in the cost of the class. Additional supplies will be available for purchase. Register early…this class has been wildly popular! Wed. July 10, 6-7:30pm. Cost: $30

Your Natural Medicine Cabinet: Keep your family healthy and comfortable the natural way! Discussion of gathering supplies for a natural medicine cabinet and first aid kit, quick home remedies using common kitchen ingredients and relief for stings, burns, tummy troubles, etc. As always, abundant handouts will be provided. Wed. June 19, 6-8pm. Cost: $30

Art and Craft of Topical Remedies: Understanding that the skin is the largest organ system in the body helps us to utilize herbs in ways that don’t always require ingesting them! This presentation will specifically focus on the craft of topical applications: from green plant poultices to warm tea compresses, plasters, liniments and more. Demonstrations accompanied by plenty of handouts. Wed. July 24, 6-8pm. Cost: $30

Infused Oils and Salve Making: Learn the time-tested secrets to making beautiful, consistently concentrated herb infused oils for creating your own homemade salves, massage oils and liniments. Susan will discuss the step by step process of making great herb infused oils and utilizing a wide variety of herbs. We’ll finish by making simple salves with the class. Participants will receive take home goodies and handouts. Additional supplies will be available for purchase to make your own at home! Wed. August 14, 6-8pm. Cost: $30

Preserving the Herbal Harvest: Join lively discussion and hands-on demonstrations of the many techniques for preserving the herbal harvest. Topics will include: proper harvesting techniques, proper drying and storage methods and basics of making vinegars, syrups, pestos, etc. Know what supplies to have on hand before you are blessed with baskets and buckets of your favorite flowers, berries and herbs. Abundant handouts, recipes and take home goodies will be provided. Roll up your sleeves…we’re going to work this one! Wed. Sept. 11, 6-8pm. Cost: $30

Winter Health~ Preventive Care and Comfort Measures:   Learn how to build strong immune health before the cold and flu season hits by incorporating simple preventive measures, utilizing tonic herbs and stocking up on nutritious foods in the kitchen. We’ll also discuss what to have on hand for acute symptoms of a cold and comfort measure for fever, coughs and sniffles. An additional emphasis on children’s health will be included. Abundant handouts and hot tea will be provided. Wed. Oct. 2, 6-8pm. Cost: $30

Susan Hess is a 1996 graduate of the prestigious Herbal Therapeutics School of Botanical Medicine’s 2-year Herbal Practitioner’s Program in Washington, NJ. (Currently called David Winston’s Center for Herbal Studies.) She has also completed the schools 1-year Graduate program and studied extensively with director and ethnobotanist, David Winston AHG (Professional Member of the American Herbalist Guild). In the past 15 years she has used her skills and training in the natural food industry and as a sales associate for Herbalist & Alchemist, Inc. of Washington, NJ.  Susan is qualified to consult with practitioners, retail stores and private individuals on the proper uses of medicinal herbal products. In 2000, Susan completed a clinical training at the Wellsprings Centre for Natural Healing in Fairfield, Connecticut with noted herbalists, Donald Yance, MH, CN, AHG (author of best-selling “Herbal Medicine, Healing and Cancer”) and Chanchal Cabrera, MINMH, AHG. She has also completed one year of apprentice studies with Jennifer Tucker, a well-known herbalist and author from Spring Mills, PA. To keep abreast of current herbal information, Susan regularly attends conferences and lectures throughout the Northeast.


Not only do we share a fence line and an equipment barn with Tussock Sedge Farm, but we also share with farm owners Henry and Charlotte Rosenberger similar farming ideals, and a passion for sustainable agriculture. We are happy to be able to share with our farm community this very local source of humanely raised, hormone and antibiotic-free grass fed beef.  Below Henry Rosenberger tells the story of Tussock Sedge Farm.

What inspired you to get involved raising cows? 

Henry Rosenberger: I grew up in the Rosenberger Dairy industry and I never enjoyed the early hours of milking cows and hauling milk.  I did love the beef side of cows, where the calves are nourished drinking from “freshened” mother cows.  Much of the land in Bucks County is especially “HEL”, “highly erodible land”, making grazing very suitable and more adaptable than row crop farming.  Romantically speaking, it’s important to know, too, the Oklahoma! musical verses were written right here in Doylestown by Oscar Hammerstein  … “all the cattle are standing like statues”.

How many cattle do you raise and on how much land?

HR: We raise about 100 calves from birth each year.  Cows are mammals, taking nine months for gestation and usually only have one calf each year.  We usually have two sets of twins each year.  The calves are weaned after 8-10 months, giving the mother time to catch up on her nutritional diet before giving birth to her next calf.  We graze and feed hay and minerals to the weaned calves for another 8-10 months for them to grow to maturity at 1150-1200 pounds.  We graze up to 300 animals on 385 acres.

What’s the most challenging part of being a cow farmer?

HR: Making constant rounds to always be certain that every animal is safe and well cared for….. water, rotated fresh pastures, minerals and salt.  Also, each year offers unique challenges:  drought, too much rain, poor drying time for hay, and making adjustments to reconcile what you can’t change… such as the weather.

What’s the most rewarding?

HR: The most rewarding part of farming is watching and hearing nature heal the past use of herbicides and pesticides…. Hearing a choir of peepers and tree frogs in the evening… Seeing birthing calves drop and soon be standing aside the mother after being licked and encouraged to her/his feet for the first time….having experienced 90 births with no assistance…nature at it’s best.  And finally, having patrons who appreciate all this and really genuinely share our enjoyment:  “We love what you are doing” or “I can breathe better driving through this farm”.

Why did you make the decision to go with totally grass fed?  What has that transition meant to your business?

HR: Why grass fed?  Never were cows in their natural habitat eating corn.  It was a place to “dump” cheap corn in the 60’s and 70’s (corn is no longer cheap).  Grass fed beef offers higher Omega 3 fat and CLA and lower Omega 6 fat, which is unhealthy in excess.  It is leaner than corn finished beef.  A grass fed beef enjoys rotational grazing, which mimics a natural routine of always moving into fresh re-growth of grass and legumes, leaving behind waste and topped grass to recover. 

The transition to grass fed beef meant we didn’t have meat to sell for a year because it takes two years, not 15 months, to finish beef on grass.  It also meant we lost some customers who prefer corn fed fatty beef.  We also gained many new customers who were convinced of the nutritional value of grass fed beef.  Grass fed beef has a stronger bovine taste, a sweet and nutty flavor, when aged 5-10 days.

Is there anything special about the breed of cows you raise?

HR: The breed of cattle we choose is Red Angus cows bred by Rotakowa Devon bulls.  The outcome of this cross is a highly productive converter of cellulose to protein.  They represent a medium frame cow which performs well solely on grass and legumes.

How do you manage your pastures?

HR: Management of pastures includes soil testing every three years.  We maintain PH at 6.6-7.0 and mostly focus on cattle grazing to manage the pastures.  They provide Nitrogen with their 20-30 lbs of manure and urea daily.  The farmer manages the grass by moving cows into pastures at 12 inches until they eat it down to four inches.  Special effort is made to dig bull thistles by hand but we never use herbicides on the pastures for weed control.  But the best control of weeds is maintaining a high PH—weeds thrive in acidic soil.  Having increased the organic matter from 1 ½ % to 4-7% is my most encouraging sign of optimum achievement in soil management.

What are your plans for the future of your farm—any changes in the works?

HR: Plans for the future involve adding sheep to our pastures.  Currently we have seven ewes and births of five lambs in April 2013.  They, too, will be grass fed and finished Dorset sheep.  We expect to have 50 ewes within a few years.  We also are planning on longer grazing when weather allows by stockpiling grass (hay) in the fields to be eaten in winter.  Cows are healthiest outdoors and prefer it to lying in barns all winter.

Our customers understand why CSA’s are important in the context of vegetable farming.  What does buying a “share” of a cow means, and why that is helpful to you as the farmer?

We love a vegetable CSA and realize we share the risk of the farmer by “paying ahead” for my vegetable share.  The same is true for marketing beef. The greatest assurance I have as a beef farmer is to know that what I am spending two years to raise, grow and graze, I will have someone to buy and consume it when it’s ready to harvest and process.  It is very helpful when we can sell a 1/8th share (2 per year,  46 lbs each) or a 12 lb. Sampler Pack share (3 per year) in advance.  We offer a discount to encourage buyers to purchase shares.  This year the discount is 2012 prices in 2013.  This saves $5 on each of the three Sampler Packs and $20 on each of the 1/8th packs.  Our 2013 prices for individual packs go into effect on May 1.  We will accept share applications until May 30.  Share holders have priority in what is available each year.  For Blooming Glen Farm CSA members who purchase shares, we are happy to deliver the beef order to the CSA for pick-up when you are getting your veggies.

To find out more details about the Tussock Sedge Farm beef share program, and to take advantage of the 2012 pricing, head over to Tussock Sedge Farm’s website.


Interview by Blooming Glen Farm co-owner and farmer, Tricia Borneman.

Bring a gently used cookbook to Blooming Glen Farm Saturday, April 27th at 3:00pm for Blooming Glen Farm’s second annual spring cookbook swap and food tasting adventure. The catch? You must bring a dish to share made from a recipe from the cookbook you are bringing to swap. 

Your cookbooks reflect your changing tastes, so if you no longer indulge in butterlicious cupcakes (really?) or you have one two many vegetarian cookbooks, maybe someone from the community will have just what you’re looking for now. But for sure, one of your well-loved but no longer active cookbooks can find a new home, and you can be inspired by the recipes in someone else’s old favorite. 

If you don’t have a used book on your shelf that you want to swap, check out the local thrift stores, or splurge on a new copy at the bookstore in town!  You may even have a food memoir with recipes in it that you’d like to trade. You may bring a few extras as well, as there will be a surplus trade table. Please try to bring well-loved cookbooks- ones that you would be proud to pass on to a friend.

How will this swap work? To determine the order of cookbook selection, come prepared for some “family feud” style fun. Participants will be broken up into teams to answer fun farm facts and veggie trivia. Winners of each round will select a cookbook to take home, until all cookbooks are gone. (**You must bring a cookbook to leave with one- however, all family members are welcome to participate in the trivia fun.) Tasting will begin promptly at 3:30, trivia and swap begins at 4:00. (**Please arrive around 3:00 to be ready for tasting by 3:30.)

New this year: Children are asked to participate by bringing their three favorite recipes. Photocopy and bring 10 copies of each recipe. Children will assemble their own cookbooks and leave with new favorites.  

Bring to the Cookbook Swap and Food Tasting Adventure:

  • The cookbook you wish to swap.
  • Children can bring 10 photocopies of each of their three favorite recipes.
  • delicious dish for the tasting, to tempt swappers to choose your cookbook. Remember to select a recipe from the cookbook you are swapping away. (Bonus: Tasters’ favorite dish will win a door prize!)
  • A notecard to be displayed with your dish with the following information on it: your name, the name of your dish, the main ingredients, and the name of the cookbook you have brought with you to trade.
  • A beverage and place settings for you and your family.
  • An appetite for farm fun and trivia!!

Come on out and meet other food lovers in our farm community; taste new recipes and leave inspired and ready for the farm season ahead with a new favorite cookbook in hand! Please RSVP to the farm by April 22nd if you will be attending.  Email: