Strawberries at Cider Hill Farm

Check out these sweeties at the fabulous Cider Hill Farm ! We were lucky to have Farmer Glenn right in the patch with us to answer all our questions.   “Why did you become a farmer?” the young girl picking near us asked.

In business for over 30 years, Glenn and Karen Cook and Cider Hill started with strawberries and apples and now raise a whole host of summer fruits–many are pick your own–and a summer veggie CSA, too.  With wind turbines and solar panels sprouting in strategic places around the farm, and greenhouses heated largely by the wood they harvest on site,  they are almost totally independent of fossil-fuel based heating and electricity–ensuring a sustainable future for their part of our local food system.  Makes us super proud to have Glenn’s late fall apples and award-winning cider in our Shared Harvest winter shares!

“[Farmer Glenn] is really, surprisingly, very nice!” Quinn stated emphatically when we got home.  Yes, Glenn had a surprisingly easy, optimistic air about him, born of the patience and long vision you get from (or need to have for?) a 30 year adventure bringing this same piece of land to such fruition, with New England weather that, he asserts, isn’t any more crazy now than it has ever been.

For Glenn, that late Friday afternoon was his time to make sure the farm was ready for the potentially flood-inducing rains soon to follow (and there were shovel operators digging drainage right next to the strawberry patch as we talked).  But it was also important to take time to connect with the folks for whom he grows.  By the way, Glenn’s answer was “I like to be outside, I enjoy being my own boss, I love growing food…” and, he went on to say to me,”We [the collective We] need to grow our own food, you know…”

For us,  that afternoon commenced a week (so far) of feverish picking, making pies, and freezing (and yes eating).  We felt lucky to know that this year’s berry crop is about 2 to 3 weeks ahead of normal schedule…expect maybe another week or so of ripe June berries.  This weekend is looking to be clear, sunny, and in the 70s…