Friday, December 26, 2008

Grown in New Mexico

Melinda Bateman holds a plump carnival acorn squash and a magenta-hued, fresh-cut beet while she describes her life as a Northern New Mexico farmer. Garlic bulbs the size of fists lie on the front porch. "I love to be outside, eating the fruits of my labor," says the owner of 10-year-old Morning Star Farm, located in the village of Arroyo Seco.

Bateman supplies biodynamically grown, pesticide-free produce to upscale Taos restaurants, Doc Martin’s and Lambert’s, and serves as a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) source for area residents. Each week’s delivery reflects what Bateman has recently harvested and, over the course of a year, the variety is astonishing.

By late September, enormous kale leaves and plump carrots are ready for harvest. Through wintertime, customers also may receive leeks, potatoes, parsnips, onions, turnips, pumpkins, winter squash, cabbage and rutabagas. Spring deliveries may feature a salad mix, herbs, radishes, spinach, and turnips. And Bateman’s summer deliveries often include Swiss chard, bok choy, heirloom lettuce, green beans, fennel, cucumbers, corn, tomatoes, summer squash, and peas; plus basil, sage, dill, oregano, thyme and tarragon.

“The idea of a CSA is to create a partnership between growers and consumers in which the bounty and the risks of the farm are shared,” says Bateman, in her brochure. “By purchasing food at a local farm your food dollars stay in the local economy [which] further helps to promote and preserve agriculture in the Taos Valley.”

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