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Posts Tagged ‘farmstand’

Photo: Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal.
Brayden Nadeau, seen here at age 10, shows off vegetables he grew on his grandfather’s land in Auburn, Maine.

How great to see a kid who’s into agriculture! Cathy Free at the Washington Post reports on a 12-year-old farmer in Maine who got hooked on farming at age 2. There’s a lot to ponder here about what a close relationship with a grandparent can lead to.

“Brayden Nadeau was 2 when he helped his grandpa steer a John Deere tractor, and he was 3 when he helped feed the hogs and chickens on the family farm in Minot, Maine.

“At age 5, when he was asked by his kindergarten teacher what he hoped to do for a living one day, nobody was surprised when Brayden said he was going to be a farmer, said his mother, Kari Nadeau. …

“Brayden, now 12 and in seventh grade, is already on his way to achieving his career goal. On his own initiative, he does much of the work on his grandfather Dan Herrick’s 25-acre farm, and on the 275 acres that neighbors let Herrick use to grow hay, Kari Nadeau said. Brayden plants, tends and harvests produce, and sells his bounty.

“For the past two years, he has run Brayden’s Vegetable Stand, selling fresh food such as corn, cabbage and tomatoes. He used his savings to buy a new store structure in May 2021 for about $7,000 and install it at the edge of his grandfather’s farm. He posts live updates on Facebook about what’s fresh each day.

“He works on the farm and at his store 10 hours a day in the summer, and four hours a day (mostly after school) when school is in session. He’ll restock his store before school at 7:30 a.m. and leave an honor box for customers to drop in their money.

“Brayden said he puts most of his earnings into savings, but uses some of the money to add improvements to his veggie stand, such as a new floor.

“ ‘I’ve become his employee,’ joked Herrick, 64, adding that he still harvests hay on the farm but has allowed Brayden to take over most other responsibilities. ‘I taught him the basics, and he took it from there. … Brayden pretty much runs the show now. [He] knows how to use the equipment better than I do.’

“Brayden said it’s his favorite way to spend his days. ‘I really enjoy it — even getting up at 5 in the morning,’ he said. ‘I’m not into video games and goofing around on my phone like some of my friends. I’d rather be busy on the farm.’ …

“Maine was among the top five states with declining farmland between 2012 and 2017, according to a survey done by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In rural towns like Minot in southern Maine, many families eventually sell their farms or stop working the land because their children find other ways to make a living, said Herrick, who has farmed for most of his life.

“ ‘It’s a hard job, and you really have to enjoy doing it,’ he said. …

“Brayden’s sense of duty to the farm has also helped to foster a close relationship with his grandparents, said his grandmother, Marie Herrick, 60.

“ ‘Nobody has ever asked Brayden to do this — there’s just nowhere else he’d rather be,’ she said. ‘It’s been a joy all these years to watch him learn everything he can from Dan.’

“At 6:30 every morning, one of Brayden’s parents drives him two miles to the Herricks’ farm, and he goes to work.

“Brayden said he feeds the livestock (100 chickens, 60 pigs, 30 laying hens, 20 turkeys and six cows), cleans stalls, picks ripe produce and gathers eggs. Then he stocks the shelves in his vegetable stand, which he operates until Thanksgiving.

“Every spring, he said, he starts his vegetables from seed, then puts them into the ground. To make the task of caring for the plants easier, he recently bought a drip irrigation system with money he’d saved from his produce sales. …

“His customers said they look forward to seeing what he has to offer each day, from broccoli and tomatoes to eggplant and summer squash. Brayden also sells bacon and sausage made from his grandpa’s hogs and loaves of his grandma Marie’s fresh zucchini bread, as well as jars of her zucchini relish.

“ ‘Zucchini is probably the favorite thing I plant,’ he said. ‘It’s always been amazing to watch something grow from an itty-bitty seed.’

“Some of his customers feel the same way about watching Brayden grow.

“ ‘He’s the hardest-working kid I’ve ever known,’ said customer Wendy Simard, 48, who was also Brayden’s reading teacher at Minot Consolidated School. …

“Simard said that when she taught Brayden in first grade, he was drawn to books about farming, and liked drawing pictures of tractors, pigs and cows.

“ ‘Now he comes in to tell our pre-K students all about vegetables, and he’ll bring in a baby pig at the end of every year to show the kids,’ she said.”

More at the Post, here.

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We turned on the heat and started wearing warm coats. (I’m even wearing gloves and earmuffs in the early morning, but don’t tell anyone.)

I think it’s time for a round-up of late summer scenes in New England before the snow flies.

First come two pictures illustrating the Providence claim to fame as Creative Capital. Then shy mushrooms. Next are four photos from New Shoreham, including horses and a turtle who really hoped I’d just go away.

Moving right along: lovely shadows and fall colors in field and farmstand.

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The original idea when the grandchildren visited my workplace was to walk to the new Boston Public Market, but it was too far and there were so many other interesting things along the way.

We will go as a family another day, but I thought I would zip over there Thursday and take some pictures. I arrived at 8 a.m. The market is open Wednesdays to Sundays, 8 to 8, and since the activity wasn’t in full swing, it was a good time to look around.

The Boston Public Market is not as big, as noisy, or as messy as the famed Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia (and there are no Amish), but it shows real promise. Although the market was fairly quiet at 8 a.m., there was already a line at MotherJuice and George Howell’s Coffee — people getting revved up for work at Government Center and environs. At a farmstand, I bought two small squashes. Fifty cents.

The Vietnamese restaurant Bon Me had a counter, and I saw local honey, fruits, vegetables, artisan cheese, and crafts. The crafts gave me pause as the market is supposed to be mainly an outlet for regional farmers, and much as I love crafts, I have seen them overwhelm another farmers market. As long as there is a good balance, it will be fine.

Note the vegetable soft toys in the children’s play area.

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Here are a few photos from recent rambles. You will note that I am drawn to flowers. You can identify these or your own flowers, shrubs, weeds, and houseplants by uploading pictures to MisterSmartyPlants.

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We’re going to the Mother’s Day brunch at Verrill Farm, one of 18 farms in the Boston suburb Concord.

The farm started out as a dairy business in 1918, but today just raises flowers, fruits, and vegetables. There’s an enclosed farmstand that in addition to produce and flowers, sells prepared meals, baked goods, and specialty items. Verrill bounced back from a devastating fire a few years ago and is often credited on menus around the region.

We enjoy the farm’s outdoor brunches. Suzanne and John are likely to run into people they knew in elementary school, now with their own kids in tow. We’ll eat at trestle tables under tents, and the grandsons will be able to ride ponies, climb on a wooden climbing thing like a boat, and roll down the hill. Our granddaughter usually gets a kick out of watching whatever her brother is doing.

The moms will probably be wearing their birthstone jewelry from Suzanne’s company, Luna & Stella. You may want a piece, too, for yourself or your mom. If so, Suzanne says, “You can use BLOGMOM13 for free shipping.”

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Looking at streams swollen by yesterday’s rain, I began thinking about Scuffy the Tugboat.

“The water moved in a hurry, as all things move in a hurry when it is Spring. Scuffy was in a hurry, too. ‘Come back little tugboat, come back,’ cried the little boy.”

Remember?

A farmers market in Providence was undaunted by the rain. The farmer at the farmstand here joked that the puddle was just a matter of hydroponic gardening. In other photos, I show peonies and a sign buffeted by the storm — and a rabbit too busy foraging to worry about cameras.

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