Animals, Vegetables, Miracles at East Durham Farms
During my childhood summers in the Catskills, I always dreamed of driving up to a quaint little farmhouse and being invited to come inside. In those days, we got our produce at a supermarket located 30 minutes away and looked at cows through our car windows as we drove there. We never met a farmer. But last summer, while trying to follow a roadside advertisement to a pheasant farm, we found East Durham Farms instead. After we filled a basket with their organic tomatoes, squash, zinnias, onions and potatoes, the woman at the cash register invited my shy son to go around back and look at their baby pigs and turkeys.
It was as though the farm I'd been dreaming about had miraculously materialized around me. They told us that the turkeys were mean, but they had a nice little kitten named Topaz that we could meet. Archer quickly plopped onto the ground to introduce himself and shake her paw.
It's hard to get internet service in our off-the-grid corner of the Catskills, so local farms don't have much in the way of online advertising or web presence. We've been following little hand-painted signs on the sides of the roads and asking everyone we meet (from the chatty appliance saleswomen to the friendly plumber who gave me a business card decorated with fireballs) about places to check out. I'm looking forward to reporting on an elk farm, a 5-course locally farmed and foraged dinner served under the stars, and the farmer who serves the most delicious handmade pizzas beside a field of sunflowers. And I can't wait to learn more about the farmers behind this beautiful bounty from East Durham Farms.