7 Farm + Food True Loves - Modern Farmer

7 Farm + Food True Loves

Farms and fo-od, farms and fo-od .... you can't have one without the other.

bleeding heart flowers

Beets + Boron
Hannah Crabtree, Roughdraft Farmstead
Bowling Green, Kentucky
“Our beets used to be small, inconsistent, uninspiring. But a farmer friend, whose spotless, fist-sized beets always left us jealous, suggested adding boron to our soil – yeah, Borax. After spreading the recommended two pounds per acre, our beets doubled in size the next year.”




meagan burners farmer

Instagram: @meagan_burns_

Craft Brewers + Grassfed Cows
Meagan Burns, Rancho Santo Niño
Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, Mexico
“Local craft beer makers use barley, hops, molasses, and honey to make mash for their craft beer. When they are done, we feed the mash to our grass-fed cows to add some fat and flavor to the beef. Grass-fed beef is delicious and great for you, but by working with the chefs and artisan food makers in the community, we can develop an even more delicious cut of meat, and many can be proud of the end product.”


Courtesy: Brian Barth

Courtesy: Brian Barth

Beneficial Insects + Brassicas
Brian Barth, Modern Farmer contributing editor
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
“Kale, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and other ‘brassica’ family vegetables are notoriously prone to aphids, little sucking insects that weaken the plant. But anywhere you see aphids, you’ll also likely to find ladybugs, green lacewings, and the other so-called beneficial bugs that prey on theses pests. In fields where pesticides are not used, these natural predators are quite effective at controlling pest damage.”



Credit: Kyle Johnson

Credit: Kyle Johnson

Pigs + Whey
Kurt Timmermeister, Kurtwood Farms and Kurt Farm Shop
Vashon Island, Washington
“We make cheese, and the byproduct of that is whey – a high protein, high sugar liquid. As it happens, pigs love it and it makes for very tasty pork. We raise pigs partly as a way of using up the whey. It’s certainly a win-win situation.”




matthew raiford farmer

Instagram: @farmerlarder

Healthy Chickens + Foraging
Matthew Raiford, The Farmer and the Larder
Brunswick, Georgia
“Allowing chickens to forage, eat grasses and little bugs, and get plenty of sunlight and fresh air make for healthy chickens that produce amazing eggs to make a decadent creme brÁ»lée or a delicious frittata.”




Farmers + Farms
Jesse Frost, Roughdraft Farmstead
Bowling Green, Kentucky

“Our country is losing thousands of farmers a year. Not to be obvious here, but we need to find ways to get more farmers taking over those lands, to relieve young farmers of college debt (as the NYFC is helping to spearhead) and get them connected to as many low interest loans as they need. Without farmers, there are no farms.”




shep ogden

Courtesy: Shepherd Ogden

Delicious Vegetables + Good Compost
Shepherd Ogden, Modern Farmer contributing editor and advisory board member
Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
“The flavor and the nutrient content of vegetables are both a byproduct of their own survival mechanisms: Every vegetable and fruit takes its nutrients as they are presented and does its best. If it is presented with a limited range of nutrients, what can it do? But you take a rich soil, fortified with compost that includes all the major nutrients, but also trace amounts of many of the ‘ingredients’ for the plant to feast on, and you give the plant an opportunity to live up to its full flavor (and nutritional) potential. Compost is a moveable feast.”



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