Don and I have spent Wednesday nights this spring and early summer at Biver Farm, the guests of Frank, Rosi and Keith Biver. Wednesday night is CSA night at the farm, when subscribers to the Biver CSA program pick up their weekly bag of farm-fresh goodies. You may recall that I posted from Biver Farm last fall, highlighting a casserole with butternut squash and potatoes that I brought out to share.
Life is always busy on the farm, but busy on the farm is a bit different from busy as we might think of it. Since last fall, the Bivers have added three goats, a mama and her two kids (Notice how I used the right terminology for baby goat here—I’ve come so far.) that will take care of the invasive honeysuckle growing in the woods. A new variety of golden raspberry is out for taste testing. And everyone is bringing new dishes, hoping to be asked to submit a recipe to the ongoing CSA Cookbook that Rosi continues to oversee.
Driving up to Biver Farm on Pin Oak Rd., you might not realize just how much really goes on there, how much produce is actually grown and sold, and how many people work there to make it all happen. Like my friend Bruce Haas’ Daydream Farm, Biver Farm blends beautifully into the rolling hills, forests and lowlands on which it is situated. A small vineyard for table grapes, neatly tended tunnels brimming with good food, lush berry bushes, free-running flocks of ducks, guinea hens and chickens, and flowers… Frank’s flowers rival those at any botanical garden.
The air hums with bees and sparkles with butterfly wings. Contented dogs sit at your feet and cats laze in the setting sun. Biver Farm is, in essence, what farms everywhere in the Midwest used to be: the home of people who happen to farm for a living.
Yes, people come to pick up their bags on Wednesday night, but what makes them pull up their chairs and pour a glass of wine is the peace, beauty and community that is Biver Farm. Well, we do set a pretty yummy table most nights, too! And if you are a truly lucky green gal, you might even get to harvest your own rhubarb for some Southwest Rhubarb Sauce you’re going to make.
Don and I are so very grateful for the invitation to share in the festivities on Wednesday nights. We realize how lucky we are to have met so many wonderful people, shared so much good food and laughed away the evenings out on Biver Farm. You just can’t find this kind of thing shopping at the grocery store, ya know?
Well sure. I am aware how often I make this plea for supporting small local farms wherever you live, for getting to know the people who grow your food and understanding how hard they work at what they believe in, and how a CSA program helps sustain them and ensure their existence. But if I am guilty of repeating myself, preaching to the choir or just being slightly annoying…well… I’m not concerned. For the one reader who is out there who is new to shopping with local farmers or wondering what in the world a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program is all about, I’m here… and passionate and more than willing to repeat myself in order to bring one more person into the chicken coop of local, sustainable agriculture.
If you belong to a CSA, share your thoughts about why you make this extra effort to have a close relationship with the food you eat and the people who grow it. Inspire us with your own passion to shop local, eat healthy and be brave in the kitchen!
We’ll be here…enjoying life around the table.