I few weeks ago we had the opportunity to try out a family friendly farm to table Salad Super event at Farm in Peace in Collins, NY.
I don’t know how to write this post and give justice to all that Chris and Paula Jeaniton are doing. They’re two wildly intelligent and harding working parents who have serious sights on the future. That future includes WNY agriculture and world domination among other things. Well, not really. More like equitable domination?
Anyway, cliff notes version of their lives (read their full story here on their facebook): they met in college, finished degrees, landed big time jobs, moved a bunch, created businesses making seed bombs and kitchy journals, quit a job and oh yeah, bought a farm.. That’s right. Just 3 short years ago Chris and Paula Jeanniton relocated to Paula’s hometown of Collins, NY to start what is now known as Farm in Peace. Paula is a native of Western York and her husband Chris is a transplant from New Jersey. They both have some interesting and inventive ideas and creative practices in farming and can't wait to explore their opportunities here in Western New York.
Our experience on the farm was something pretty special. As we pulled into Chris and Paula’s driveway my 4 year old son yelled that they had a dirt pile with trucks!!!! Before I turned off the engine, my kid were getting out of their carseats and ready to roll. My son immediately ran to the dirt pile that had a gazillion bulldozers and construction toys scattered around it. My daughter started insisting that we find the animals. NOW! She was instantly intrigued by the fact that they had goats and chickens and that we will be able to pick our own salad ingredients for the dinner.
First thing we did was start walking up the hill into the farm with CJ who told us all about their different farming practices. They’re basically farming organically without the certification. They use Diametress Earth and all kinds of inventive ways to maintain a more equitable and ethical Farm.
Not long after our hike up the hill we were led into the crops and given the chance to pick some peas, carrots, beets, cucumbers, kale, and lettuce. My 6 year old was stoked. She’s normalluy more reserved, bordering on shy. But nothing was going to stop her from getting in there and helping pick our dinner. Paula was so inclusive with the kids. Everyone who wanted a chance to pick something did.
After we picked our ingredients we headed to the outdoor kitchen to clean all the produce. Everyone on the tour was able to participate in preparing the meal. I sat back and watched as my 6 year old interacted with Paula and farm helpers washing the carrots and chopping up the cucumbers all the while my son had been enjoying himself playing in the dirt pile with other kids.
We finished preparing the food and all sat down to picnic tables decorated with perennial flowers from the families pollinating Garden. They served lemonade and basil water for drinks. The price was incredible, just $7 for adults $2.50 for kids.
The girl-child and I finished off our dinner and decided to check out the farmstand. Meanwhile my son still sat in the dirt pile playing with other kids. And I mean sat. Covered. In. Dirt. I don't think he's ever looked happier. (Sadly, Dear Readers, I didn't get a pic of this dirt-filled scene.)
Once you walk into the Farm in Peace farmstand you realize how incredibly special this couple is: they have a donation based system where people are asked give what they can and take what they need.
My daughter loved this idea. She was really excited to put her money into the donation slot and even more stoked to choose the produce we would bring home.
At this point we were all exhausted and ready to head home. We climbed into our car and drove off. My youngest sniffed, "What's that smellllll???" We all collectively took a whiff and I noted that we smelled like Fredonia State in the 90's. Hemp!
See, in addition to a farmstand, a CSA, and Paula's etsy shops, they also farm industrial hemp!
Want to check out their farm?
Industrial Hemp Educational Farm Tour
August 11, 12, 18, 19. 10am and 2pm start times.
A Salad Supper, just like the one we enjoyed:
An affordable evening- $7 per adult and $2.50 per child
Hi. I'm Lindsay. Daughter, sister, wife, mother and collector of useless (and useful) information.